There is so much information (and misinformation) about Covid-19, and as librarians it’s our job to point you to sources you can trust.
Each week we will be compiling essential and updated information to help you make informed decisions about your health and safety. This week we are taking a closer look at how Covid-19 impacts children.
While the rate of infection among children is lower than in adults, Covid-19 challenges our younger populations in many ways. Changes in schooling, lack of socialization with friends, confusion about the virus, and even mask wearing all add up to take a toll on children’s mental health and wellbeing.
How to Talk to Kids About Covid-19
The Centers for Disease Control has set up a website for how to talk with kids about the virus and how to help them practice healthy habits to reduce the spread of germs.
The National Association of School Psychologists has also set up a website for helping children cope with the changes in their daily lives due to Covid-19.
Should I Send My Child Back to School?
Many schools in North Central Washington are now offering in-person or hybrid learning options as well as continuing to provide virtual learning for those at home. In December, Gov. Jay Inslee issued new state guidelines for schools, stating that there is minimal Covid transmission in schools when strict health and safety protocols are in place.
The CDC has developed a decision-making checklistopens PDF file and provides back-to-school planning information for parents facing the prospect of sending their children back to the classroom. The agency also updated its information on Dec. 30, 2020, to help parents make decisions about sending their children to school vs. continuing virtual learning.
UNICEF also provides information to help your children transition back to school.
Mask Requirements for Children
It is currently mandatory in Washington state for all people aged 5 and older to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, including in our libraries.
The World Health Organization offers a wealth of information on children and masks, .
Check out these tips for helping children on the autism spectrum wear masks.
How Covid Affects Mental Health in Children
Isolation from friends and family and difficulties with virtual and hybrid home-school learning have taken a toll on children’s mental health.
The CDC has created a Parental Resources Kit to help parents care for the social, emotional and mental well-being of their children.
The American Psychology Association provides extensive advice and guidance on parenting and caregiving and fostering resilience in children during the pandemic.