Health expert: talk to your child about COVID-19 before school starts to ease anxiety

Kids and anxiety during the pandemic

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - As the school year approaches, Heather Nelson said she gets more anxious about her kids going back.

“Just because the parents tell them, ‘hey, you need to do this at home’ and hope that they do it, I mean, now we’re expecting teachers at school to do what they need to,” Nelson said.

“This 2020 has really been a time of a lot of change and change naturally causes anxiety,” said clinical therapist Beth Zeilenga.

Zeilenga said you can help kids with that change by talking to them about what’s going on.

“Give them comfort to know that we got great people help guide us through this process,” she said.

Zeilenga suggested three ways you can go about it: being creative, using age appropriate language and being hands-on.

“There’s a bread experiment that you can do where you take two pieces of bread one with unwashed hands and you touch the bread and you put it in the Ziploc and the other you wash your hands,” she said.

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Nelson said talking to her kids has helped. Now, she waits to see what happens when they’re back in class.

“We just don’t know what’s going to become of it when they go back to school,” she said.

Her kids have their own opinions.

“I’m afraid if the corona’s still around by then Imma [sic] get it,” they said.

“I love school and just want to go back,” they said.

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