COVID-19/Coronavirus Updates and Resources
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease. ISD 728 continually follows the guidance and recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. We wanted to provide some additional resources to help support children during this time.
General principles for talking to children (CDC Guidance)
Remain calm and reassuring.
- Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
- Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.
- Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
Provide information that is honest and accurate.
- Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
- Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
- Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
(e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
- Get children into a handwashing habit.
- Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.
How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19/Coronavirus
Mental Health Supports
Social and Emotional Learning Supports
SEL Resources for Parents
- 17 Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused (via CommonSense Media)
- Best Documentaries (via CommonSense Media)
- Best Family Movies (via CommonSense Media)
- Best Music Apps and Games for Kids (via CommonSense Media)
- Dance Games (via CommonSense Media)
- Device-Free Dinner Guidelines (via CommonSense Media)
- Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites (via CommonSense Media)
- Free SEL Activities and Practices (via Greater Good in Education)
- Designing Learning From Home Experiences with UDL (via Novak Education)
- Meditation Apps for Kids
- Sibling Watch-Together TV (via CommonSense Media)
- Teaching Kids Media Smarts During Breaking News (via CommonSense Media)
- Virus Anxiety Resources
- Mind Yeti
- CASEL: So Now What? Supporting SEL at Home