TIPS FOR PRACTISING GOOD HYGIENE
- use a tissue or your elbow to block a cough or a sneeze, keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face
- if you are unwell, contact your General Practitioner who will assess if you need to be tested for COVID-19 infection and arrange for to you to be tested – call ahead first as there may be protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus
- maintain at least one metre between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
If a child brings up Coronavirus or asks questions, it is important to acknowledge how they may be feeling and to answer questions as honestly as possible. This will help them feel informed and understand what is happening.
It is important to emphasise that even though there is one confirmed case of the virus in the Northern Territory. Also, it is important students understand the low risk of serious illness.
- Be aware of your own behaviour
It’s important that adults understand the effect their own behaviour can have on children. If you’re visibly upset or react in a way that suggests you’re fearful, children will take their cues from you.
- Stick to the facts
Ensure you stick to the facts. This will help keep conversations calm, considered, and constructive.
Sharing factual information should help reassure children that there is no immediate risk to themselves, their friends, or their family.
- Explain what efforts are being made to contain the virus
Authorities are responding quickly. Travel in and out of the affected areas has been restricted, and scientists are working to develop a vaccine.
- Offer practical advice
For the time being the easiest way to reduce the risk of being affected by viruses of any sort (including the common cold) is to practice good hygiene.
These are easy habits for children to adopt, and should help them feel as though they’re able to exert some control over their circumstances.
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR DISCUSSION WITH CHILDREN AND STUDENTS
https://emergingminds.com.au/ – If you scroll down about half way there is a video for parents intended to upskill them in how to talk to their child about the pandemic.
Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), see two resources below