Updated: Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for children, families and professionals
There is lots 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 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.
You can jump to the sections most helpful for you:
- Messages for children from world leaders
- Books and stories for children and young people
- Information about coronavirus for parents, carers and schools
- Information and resources for educational psychologists
Messages from world leaders
A message from Justin Trudeau – Prime minister of Canada
A message from Nicola Sturgeon – First Minister of Scotland
A message from Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New Zealand
Books and stories for children and young people
What do all these new words mean?
With the coronavirus pandemic, there are now lots of new words for us to learn. This easy read guide for words about coronavirus and what they mean is a perfect glossary for young children and adults.
Children’s Commissioner – Children’s guide to coronavirus
This children’s guide to coronavirus is a colourful powerpoint that also includes a few activities for adults to do with children to support their understanding of the current situation.
Dave the dog
Dave the dog is worried about coronavirus and so Nurse Dotty talks to him clearly about the current situation and the things that Dave can do to stay safe and healthy.
Lots of children and young people may be asking questions about why they cannot see their friends or family right now. The Staying Home Story follows a ‘day in the life’ of a family and all the questions that young children might ask.
Missing out on the things we love
In this therapeutic story we meet the little elf who missed his birthday party. The story also comes with guidance for adults including questions you might like to ask children about their thoughts and feelings.
Coronavirus: a book for children and young people
The Coronavirus book for children and young people uses a question and answer format to help answer questions that children might have. This book may be more suited to older children.
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.
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.
Information about coronavirus for parents, carers and schools
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.
The UK Government has now also compiled a list of online education resources for school work at home.
Parenting while self-isolating and social distancing
Dr Abi Wright from the DECP writes about the unique experiences that parents/carers of babies might be having right now.
Talking to children about coronavirus
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.
Talking about bereavement
Winston’ Wish, the UK’s childhood bereavement charity have produced resources specifically designed to help adults talk to children if they experience bereavement as a result of the coronavirus.
Talking to children about a ‘plan b’
Although initially written for last minute changes to Christmas plans, Jen’s blog has top tips for talking to children about unplanned change, more generally.
Advice and guidance following schools closures
The DECP have released advice and guidance for parents/carers and schools following school closures. It briefly addresses stress in children and have practical suggestions about managing at this time.
The DECP published an advice paper about how to promote and cultivate teacher resilience at this time focusing on belonging, help-seeking and learning.
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.
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: maintaining wellbeing
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
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.
Information and resources for Educational Psychologists
The AEP has a range of guidance and resources for EPs on their coronavirus pages. These include links to guidance about EP work at this time, union advice, and EHCP work.
Working with children using online video
The Division of Clinical Psychology has produced a resource specifically addressing considerations for psychologists working with children and young people using online video platforms.
Early morning CPD
Southend EPS have been running a series of early morning CPD webinars with a range of guest speakers. You can view these live, or catch up on their YouTube channel. Topics so far have included the power of play, breathing techniques and resilience.
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