She shared that some worried about children starting to feel angry because of the impacts the disease is having on their daily lives, which they believe might lead to xenophobia because of the virus’s origin in China.
Whetstone said that the providers are aware that children and teenagers are worried about cancellations, such as proms and graduations.
“These may be things that some may think, why would anyone worry about those things in the midst of a pandemic? These are significant milestones throughout developmental stages,” she said. “And we won’t know if these things are bothering some of our young people unless we ask. There are many warnings about isolation related to the older population, which is very important. We also have countless youth out there now mostly communicating via technology, or maybe not much at all. Check in with young people, often. Schedule time with them to do so if needed.”
Whetstone said the providers discussed that “If kids are worried and you believe it is causing disruptions in their ability to enjoy daily life, limit ‘worry time’ to 10 minutes where you have them tell you their worries, you write them on slips of paper, validate how they are feeling and put them in a jar and seal them up, and then move on together to do something fun like play a game together. Or rip the slips up, crumple and throw away, etc.”