Given the news of school closures in the Central Valley, it’s likely that your child might have questions or that it might feel scary to them that their school has closed. In response to this, Dr. Amanda Suplee, a pediatric psychologist at Valley Children’s Hospital, offers some tips on how to talk to your child about school closures due to COVID-19.
“It’s important to talk to your children and be honest about school closings,” says Dr. Suplee. “Explain to your child that if schools are closed it’s because they want to keep students and staff safe, even if no one at their school has the virus.”
In addition to having an honest, open dialogue with your child that addresses their questions and concerns, Dr. Suplee encourages parents to establish as much of a routine as possible into the day.
“Routine and predictability are helpful for children during times of uncertainty,” says Dr. Suplee. “Even though school is cancelled, structure your days with regular meal times, bed times and other activities.”
Dr. Suplee recommends that parents give their children an opportunity to help decide which activities will be a part of their day. This can help give them a sense of control in an uncontrolled environment.
It’s imperative, though, that parents follow CDC and health department guidelines for activities and avoid highly populated areas such as indoor trampoline facilities, movie theaters and play structures at parks.
Remember, these precautionary measures are in place to Valley families safe. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Valley Children’s COVID-19 Hotline, toll-free at 888-286-9336 or at 559-353-3333.