Iowa Specialty Hospital

A Word from Cindy

March 9, 2020

March is here and the time change has happened - “Spring Forward”. I love this time of year when we start to have warmer weather, robins appear and the hint of green grass starts to come out. It is also a great reminder for us to start managing our focus as we move into this new season.

 

The new season hopefully means more outside time and less TV time. Currently any time you turn on your TV or radio you will likely hear a political ad and a news story about Covid -19 (Coroavirus).  Iowa Specialty Hospital has been very involved with our local Public Health and Emergency Response group making sure we are prepared if there were to be an outbreak in our area. Our team is updating our emergency plans, attending webinars, and educating staff and public. Since this is a new virus, updates are coming out daily. As I was meeting with one of our team members they stated that their 9 year old was concerned about the virus. This tells me that the media is putting so much fear out there, that it is also affecting our children.

 

The Iowa Department of Public Health has published a few talking points that can be used when discussing this outbreak with children. We want to make sure our children feel safe and we can ease any concerns that they may have. Below comes from IDPH:

 

Advice for Talking to Children about COVID-19 2/26/2020

Stressful situations often cause children to worry and have many questions about why it is happening and how it can be fixed. Your confidence and calm attitude will help your children ease their worries and feel safe and secure.

 

Helpful Tips Regarding Children and COVID-19

  • Keep activities as consistent and normal as possible even if your normal routine changes.
  • Ask your children what they have heard about COVID-19. Answer questions openly and honestly, at a level they can understand. Be clear and do not avoid difficult questions.
  • Allow your children to express their feelings and concerns. Let them know it is okay to be afraid or mad. Ask questions so you can help them identify and cope with their feelings.
  • Children always need to feel safe and loved. When they are uncertain about situations and afraid they may need even more affection and attention.
  • Limit exposure to media and adult conversations about COVID-19. If your children are watching television, try to watch with them or make sure you are available to answer questions about what they have heard.
  • Encourage healthy behaviors: eating well, sleeping well, and playing outside.
  • Use their questions as an opportunity to let them know what they can do to avoid getting COVID-19.

 

Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children

  • School and health officials are being especially careful to make sure as few people as possible get sick.
  • There are things people can do to stay healthy and avoid spreading disease, such as:
  • washing our hands
  • covering our mouths when we cough
  • not sharing food or drinks
  • staying home when we don’t feel well
  • Advise parents that it is normal to be concerned about a new virus.
  • Being uncertain and anxious about COVID-19 is normal, especially with reports of illness and death.
  • Adults at home and school are taking care of your health and safety. If you have concerns, please talk to an adult you trust.
  • It is important that all students treat each other with respect and not gossip about who may or may not be ill.

 

These are great reminders for all of us with the most important being frequent and good handwashing is the best way to stop the spread of disease.  If you have any questions relating to the virus please reach out to Infection Control as there are many resources available.

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