During this time, it is understandable for children to have questions or express concern about the COVID-19 virus. As parents, teachers or caregivers, it is important to stay informed and communicate in age-appropriate ways that address children’s questions and helps them take steps to keep themselves and others healthy.
Here are some tips and resources to help:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it: Convey the facts and set an emotionally reassuring tone.
- Be age-appropriate: Teens can process and handle a higher level of detail than five year olds. Focus on answering your child/student’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly; it’s okay if you can’t answer everything.
- Follow their lead: Invite your child or student to ask questions and share their perspective: Invite them to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus and express how they feel.
- Check yourself: Feeling anxious? Take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
- Focus on actions you can take: Emphasize safety precautions everyone can take to help keep themselves and others healthy: good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing and staying home if you aren’t feeling well.
- Stick to routine: Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
- Keep talking: Tell kids/students you will keep them updated as you learn more. Let them know the lines of communication are going to be open and as you learn more, you will share the information with them, too.
News and information about the spread of COVID-19 around the world is coming at us quickly. It can be hard to keep up and if you are keeping up on the latest, it can be even harder to remain calm given all that is going on.
Access the following link to view the resource from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for tips and information to help with stress management.
- BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
- Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- BC Centre for Disease Control – Information on COVID-19
- HealthLink BC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Daily Provincial Health Update
Earlier today, the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency to support the province-wide response to COVID-19. The state emergency is initially in effect for 14 days, and allows critical federal, provincial and local resources to be delivered in a coordinated effort.
Yesterday, the Provincial Health Officer announced requirements for social distancing in public establishments – minimum of one to two metres between workers and customers – which required the immediate closure of bars, pubs and night clubs. Restaurants and cafes that can accommodate the minimum social distancing standards may stay open, otherwise they must close or shift to take-out or delivery models.
The Provincial Health Officer continues to reiterate federal recommendations to avoid all non-essential international travel and self-isolate for 14 days following return from international travel (exemptions are in place for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people).
March 18 Joint Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health statement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/21833
For parents and guardians, a new government website has been launched with up-to-date non-clinical information on COVID-19. British Columbians can also use the new provincial phone service by calling 1-888-COVID19, available seven days a week from 7:30AM to 8PM, with information in over 110 languages. Specific public health questions re COVID-19 should be directed to your local health authority for response.
The Prime Minister of Canada has announced $82 billion in funding to help Canadians and businesses as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The funding includes $27 billion in direct supports to impacted workers, homeowners, low-income families, post-secondary students, Canadians experiencing homelessness, and Indigenous communities, and $55 billion to support businesses through tax deferrals.
In addition, restrictions have been established on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. Travelers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism.
For more information on the updated testing strategy and self-isolation, visit:
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit:
For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit:
For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit its website:
To make an appointment to donate, download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2-DONATE (1 888 236-6283) or book online: https://blood.ca/