How to help children cope with rising COVID-19 cases in schools


Pre-kindergarten students listen as their teacher reads a story at Dawes Elementary in Chicago, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Chicago Public Schools students began their return to the classroom Monday as school doors opened to thousands of pre-kindergarten and some special education students after going remote last March due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool)

BIRMINGHAM (WIAT) — As of Monday, 26 children are hospitalized with COVID-19 at Children’s of Alabama, and five of those children were on ventilators.

The virus can be scary for anyone to cope with, and as children and teens adjust to the school new year, the rising numbers of student infections can bring anxiety.

Dr. Daniel Marullo, a Children’s of Alabama Clinical Psychologist, recommends parents have an honest conversation with their children about COVID-19 and its effects.

“I think it’s okay to recognize that we are living in a very difficult time,” Marullo said. “I know as a person living through this, as a psychologist, sometimes I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants, and I’m sure that’s a common experience. It’s okay to acknowledge that.”

Marullo explained that keeping a good routine, being supportive as a parent and acting as a role model when it comes to health guidelines can help children and teens right now.

“Parents, caregivers, teachers: we’re all models for our children, so if we model good mask wearing behavior the children are likely to follow,“ Marullo said.

Providing accurate information in ways children can understand is also important in combating COVID-19 anxieties, and you can find more resources here.

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