As the number of new cases of coronavirus infection continues to rise the impact is now being felt in schools in Australia. At least four closed due to students and a staff member testing positive for the virus. Most international travel by Queensland students is also banned.
It’s therefore important for parents to be there for their children to ease any concerns they may have about the virus and how it could affect them.
How to protect yourself from COVID-19 (coronavirus). Post continues below.
One thing to note is the number of reported infection cases in children remains low: of more than 44,000 confirmed cases from China, only 416 (less than 1 per cent) were aged nine years or younger. No deaths were reported in this age group.
Children are either being infected less or exhibit milder symptoms, but they may still play an important role in transmitting the virus.
So here’s some advice for parents to help them and their children stay informed.
1. Control during uncertainty
The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes the disease COVID-19, which can be like a common cold but it can also have more serious complications. Signs of infection may include: fever, cough and shortness of breath. More severe cases can involve pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.
One reason people experience anxiety during a pandemic is uncertainty about its impact. Research during the 2009 swine flu (H1N1) pandemic found those people who struggled with uncertainty were more likely to see the pandemic as threatening, and this can lead to increased levels of anxiety.
One way to provide our children with certainty in uncertain times is with facts, for example, telling them the evidence so far shows children are less likely to experience severe symptoms than older adults.