Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for children, families and professionals
There is loads of information across the internet about how to talk to or support children and young people who might have questions or worries about coronavirus.
This short blog post is our attempt to be helpful and to gather together some selected resources in to one place, freely accessible and easy to navigate.
Information about coronavirus specifically for children
The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus with text and video guidance focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self-isolation means.
The YoungMinds UK advice on what to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus might be more useful for teens and young adults. The main focus is on self-care and they provide further information about how young people can look after their mental health if self-isolating.
Mencap easy read
Mencap have produced an excellent easy read information sheet about coronavirus. This would be particularly useful for children, young people or adults whose understanding is improved with visuals and when information is given in bitesize chunks.
The easy read version covers what coronavirus is, what to do if you think you have it, and how to help stop the spread.
Carol Gray Coronavirus social story
Carol Gray has produced a social story about coronavirus and pandemics. The social story uses large print pictures and provides contextual information about pandemics and viruses in general.
MindHeart Covibook – A story about coronavirus
This excellent MindHeart information and activity book about coronavirus would be an excellent way to open up a conversation about children’s concerns.
The book is available in 18 languages (fantastic!) and it encourages children to label their current feelings and offers specific advice on things they can do to stay healthy.
The Autism Educator – coronavirus social story
Another excellent social story about coronavirus that has a good level of specificity about the effects of social distancing e.g. not being able to go to favourite places.
The social story has been written from an Irish context so references schools being closed – perhaps useful for UK children and young people soon.
Information about coronavirus for parents, carers and professionals
In the first instance, the UK Government Covid-19 pages are frequently and rapidly updated with advice and guidance in line with advice from Public Health England.
World Health Organisation: Covid-19 and Mental Health
The WHO has recently published considerations to support mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.
This guidance has specific recommendations for health care workers, caretakers of children, caretakers of older adults and people in isolation.
Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) advice
Earlier this week the DECP released advice on talking to children about coronavirus. There are five simple tips focusing on honesty, openness and validating children’s emotions.
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
The NASP is a professional body for school psychologists in the USA. They have released a parent guide for talking to children about coronavirus. it’s lengthy, but comprehensive.
Mind has an excellent page providing generic advice for everyone about maintaining wellbeing. The page has two distinct sections:
- Plan for staying at home or indoors
- Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing
The Psychologist Magazine
With an increase in home working and social isolation meaning no travel times, you might have more time on your hands. The Psychologist has compiled contributions that provide a psychological perspective on coronavirus. The page is updated regularly
Somerset Educational Psychology Service
Somerset EPS has also compiled a number of resources to support talking to children and young people. Of note is their list of books that can help children draw, talk, understand and manage their emotions during these uncertain times.
Southend Educational Psychology Service
Southend EPS, similar to Somerset, have compiled a number of resources to help children, young people, parents/carers and professionals. Of particular note on the Southend EPS webpages is the extensive list of learning, arts and crafts activities for children should they need to be at home.