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UW Health: How to talk to children about COVID-19

Health experts believe children and teens may need extra support
(NBC15)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 2:55 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As the Dane County mask mandate start date approaches, UW Health experts say children and teens may need extra guidance during the pandemic.

As the community adjusts restrictions and guidelines relating to COVID-19, UW Health experts encourage parents to help their children build empathy and resilience. Many children will have a variety of reactions, according to UW Health.

“Teens may react to changes in a variety of ways. It is important for parents to support their child’s emotions without judgement,” said Dr. Amy Stockhausen, a UW Health pediatrician, adolescent medicine expert and associate professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

UW Health says while some are eager to return to school, sports and work, others are anxious at the thought of returning to such high-risk environments.

Parents are encouraged by UW Health to talk with their children about the emotions they are experiencing and validate their feelings. It is also encouraged to inform children that people within the community have varying perspectives regarding the pandemic.

“Some people will be happy when restrictions relax, and some will not be. Some will wish to remain physically separated in public, and some will not. Some will choose to wear masks in public, and some will not,” according to the UW Health. “All these reactions are understandable, and shaming people who feel differently than you is not a productive solution.”

UW Health says this is a difficult time for the entire community and it is important to support children and teens at this time.

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