01 May Helping Children with Anxiety
If the ongoing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing anxiety, stress and uncertainty for grownups, imagine how our children feel! Depending on their age and media exposure, children may know more about the virus than grownups think and even if unaware, children still might sense tension and anxiety from adults around them.
Please have a look at the advice from Islington CAMHS covid anxiety info sheet – supporting young people (1)
During this time, it’s important that you support and take care of your family’s mental health – there are lots of things you can do, and additional support is available if you need it.
There are resources available to help you do this, including the Children’s Commissioner’s Children’s Guide to Coronavirus, or the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) have produced a storybook developed by and for children around the world affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
All children and young people are different, but there are some common ways in which different age groups may react to a situation like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Understanding these may help you to support your family. The common reactions to distress will fade over time for most children and young people, though could return if they see or hear reminders of what happened.
For infants to 2-year olds
Infants may become more easily distressed. They may cry more than usual or want to be held and cuddled more.
For 3 to 6-year olds
Preschool and nursery children may return to behaviours they have outgrown. For example, toileting accidents, bed-wetting, or being frightened about being separated from their parents or carers. They may also have tantrums or difficulty sleeping.
For 7 to 10-year olds
Older children may feel sad, angry, or afraid. Peers may share false information but parents or carers can correct the misinformation. Older children may focus on details of the situation and want to talk about it all the time, or not want to talk about it at all. They may have trouble concentrating.