Ways to help children cope with stress during ECQ

March 28, 2020

CHILDREN around the world become vulnerable to risks posed by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Besides possibly contracting the virus, children may likely be affected by other harmful factors such as disrupted education, loss of income for parents due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and other negative triggers to their emotional, social, and physical well-being which can result to great amount of stress for young people especially the school-aged kids.

“Children are not exempted to the effects of this pandemic especially those who are directly affected and currently living in the most vulnerable and poor conditions," says Rommel V. Fuerte, National Director of World Vision Philippines, a child-focused NGO.

Although there have been low cases of COVID-19 among children based on latest reports, we could not be complacent as children still become extremely vulnerable to the cascading impacts of this emergency.

In light of the glaring need to safeguard children from the lingering threat of COVID-19, World Vision suggests 11 ways to help children cope with stress:

* Help children find positive ways to express disturbing feelings.

* Encourage a caring environment around them.

* Make opportunities for children to play and relax.

* Keep them close to their parents and family.

* Ensure regular and frequent contact (via phone and video calls) and reassurance.

* Keep regular routines and schedules or help them create new ones.

* Educate them about the situation and give clear child friendly information.

* Demonstrate to children how they can keep themselves safe. Social distancing and sanitation practices like proper handwashing protects them from not only COVID-19, but also numerous diseases.

* Avoid spreading rumors and fake news.

* Support activities for children during home isolation/ quarantine.

* Manage your own emotions well and stay calm.

With the growing number of cases nationwide, the number of health facilities and health workers in the country may not adequately accommodate the overwhelming number of patients admitted, thus the need for augmentation of facilities and proper protection equipment among the medical front liners, especially in the public hospitals.

To help address this challenge, World Vision commits to support at least 100 health facilities with basic health facility disinfectant kits and provide medical front liners, including barangay health emergency response teams with personal protective equipment.

To know more on how to support frontliners, and the families not fully capable of protecting themselves from the COVID-19 outbreak, visit World Vision’s donation page at https://wvph.co/covid19.