These are indeed challenging times. As pediatricians we are in a particularly interesting position, we are the voice of reassurance for parents and children. We must be able to help not only prevent disease spread but help parents talk to their kids about this virus. We need to be able to talk about coronavirus (COVID-19) in ways that are clear and developmentally appropriate and yet the information is changing rapidly.
It is our job to help children by being reassuring. This is hard as a parent when you are scared, so remember science is a powerful tool. Scientists and physicians are learning more about coronavirus every day and we are working on cures and vaccines.
Remind children they have the power to help keep themselves and their families healthy by washing their hands with soap and water frequently. If you aren’t too tired of Baby Shark start singing when you wash and once you get half-way through Daddy Shark you have washed long enough. Try to not use too much hand sanitizer as it dries out your skin. Use moisturizing cream after every time you wash. Remember to wipe down your third hand your cell phone.
Try to keep a normal schedule for them. Make sure you are doing physical activities jumping jacks, sit ups and yes even planks and pushup contests between kids and adults are a good way to connect and stay healthy.
Try to monitor the media so that they are not overwhelmed by the news reports. In fact, it’s good advice for you as parents as well. Think of the positive things you can do at this time to help others. Use the time to make cards or write letters of encouragement to the people in your life that are important to you and put them in the mail. The mail is still being delivered and everyone loves to get cards. Maybe write cards with nice notes and mail a bunch of them to your local nursing home so that people who can’t receive visitors can still receive love.
Don’t allow yourself or them to give in to the negative.
Be a good role model for your children. This is a time for people to support each other even if it is not in person and to care about each other as a community. That is how we come through this better and stronger. This virus will not discriminate between people and neither should we. We need to help all our neighbors and friends to understand that if we all take steps to prevent the spread of this virus we will get past this crisis. We at Joshi Pediatrics will continue to do our jobs every day and take care of our patients. We have put all recommended measures in place to continue to care for people safely. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a rainbow at the end of a storm.
Anita Joshi is a board certified pediatrician and mother of two has been practicing in Crawfordsville since 1998. Crawfordsville Pediatric Center is located at 1901 Lafayette Ave. Suite 100, Crawfordsville. She can be reached at 765-361-3086.