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Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in Blog, Health, Science, Stress |

Pandemic Stress In Children

Pandemic Stress In Children

Protecting Children and Ourselves

We do all we can to protect our children from the Coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer and hand washing are good practices to help keep children and ourselves safe. These actions will help keep us safe from the immediate threat of getting COVID-19. Here’s what the CDC is saying about how COVID-19 might effect your child or any family member. 

Are we doing all we can to protect children from the stress of the pandemic? Pandemic stress in children is difficult to completely prevent. Children aren’t as prone as their grandparents to get COVID-19 but are just as stressed by it. Children are aware that they have stopped going to school or child care. Children know that their parents are stressed. Changes in schedules, constant media alerts, and parental stress leads to stressed out children. As our anxiety builds so too does theirs. And if, God forbid, there is a loss in the family, how do parents help children through that?  What can parents do to relieve some of that stress? Let’s see what the experts say.

Experts Agree Pandemics Are Stressful On Some Children

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children are almost a quarter of the American population. That’s more than 70 million children. This vulnerable segment of our society demands our protection in times of pandemic. Experts have learned from previous pandemics that children deal with stress differently than adults. Our response has to be modified to meet children’s special needs. “Most kids will ride this out and probably write some interesting college application essays about it.” Says Seth Pollack  psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Child Emotion Lab. Affluent kids will come out on the other side of COVID-19 mostly unscathed. Pollack and others are more concerned for children with less affluent families. Families who are already under stress from poverty and food insecurity are struggling more now.

Special Needs Of Children In Pandemic

From considering the lessons learned from previous pandemics we know that suspending routine activities, social distancing, closing schools and child care centers, will become the expected norm. These precautions among others, save lives in a pandemic. Those same actions can have a detrimental effects on children. Closing schools leaves children whose family don’t have internet access without connections with teachers and classmates.

Closing schools might also leave many children nutritionally vulnerable. Many children across the country depend on school breakfast and lunch programs for their only meals throughout their day. Some children even receive food to take home over the weekend.

Closing child care centers takes many parents out of the workforce for having no one to care for their children. Social distancing is very difficult to implement when working with children, it is impossible when working with infants and toddlers. Children need human contact to survive.

Older children and teenagers can suffer detrimental effects from isolation and may need mental health support in a pandemic. Suspending routine activities is detrimental to children as routine is what allows children thrive. Considering the lessons learned in pandemics of the past is important when planning for pandemics of the future.

Parents And Communities Can Ease Pandemic Stress In Children

There are many activities that parents and even the community can do to ease stress for children and their families. Everything parents do will impact their children in some way. Communities will need to support parents and children in a pandemic.

First, children need their education. Leadership needs to plan an infrastructure that provides children their education even when schools are closed. There are many tools that districts can utilize to continue children’s education from home. Many wireless companies are offering free or discounted WiFi to families with school age children.

Next, social distancing doesn’t support children’s mental health. Isolation is especially difficult on children. Parents will want to build their relationships with their children during a pandemic. Parents can help their children stay in touch with extended family members using face time or other video calling programs. Try to stick closely to the old “before Coronavirus” routine with their children. If that doesn’t work create and stick to a new routine.

Children rely on the simple rhythm to know what to expect next. Children who don’t know what to expect next will likely behave in ways that won’t be helpful. With many schools closed until the fall parents are going to need home schooling support. The CATO Institute offers this advice.

Keeping Children Active And Engaged has a great site with lots of inspiration to bring fun learning to your house during isolation. The author/preschool teacher, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. is so warm and encouraging. She is a teacher of preschool teachers.

Experts say exercise will be necessary to keep kids (and adults) active. There are ways to keep active inside the house. Walk At Home is just one way to stay active. Kids can work out with is dedicated to the safe education of children even in times of global pandemic.

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Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Blog, Health, Parents |

Local doctors taking part in ear infection study

Local doctors taking part in ear infection study

Rochester, NY – Local researchers at Rochester Regional Health Network are among  local doctors taking part in ear infection study. The bacteria that cause childhood ear infections have mutated to circumvent standard antibiotics.

Rochester Regional Health

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Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Blog, Blog, Health |

How to get kids to take medicine

It’s difficult enough to have a sick child. Getting the sick child to take their medication can make it even more stressful. To top it off when you look online you find 13,600,000 different sites discussing the topic. I thought I’d add one that attempts to compile some of the most sensible.

Follow your physician’s instructions when giving any medication. Remember some medications are to be taken with food, some can’t be taken with certain foods, others are taken with no food. Always make sure the instructions are clear and you understand them.

Equally important is the route medication is given. Liquids are given by mouth, some pills might be chewable but others must not be broken or chewed. Understanding how to give medication is as important as how much to give.

Now, how to actually get the medication into the sick child’s mouth?  It really depends on the adult’s approach to the situation more than any other factor. Staying calm and handling the medication with a matter-of-fact attitude will help the whole thing go smoother.  If this kind of approach is used the first time medication is given, any subsequent medications will be taken more readily.

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Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Blog, Blog, February Themes, Health |

Resolve to Resolve

So it’s the first week of February, how’s that New Year’s resolution going? I’ve found some helpful sites in my search for online motivation (read- procrastination). Here they are:

Mommavation is a blog that includes weight loss advice among many other topics. While it targets women with children, the advice is universal. I like the advice on organic grocery shopping.

Shape has a nice new years resolution challenge to keep us going. Join their free challenge for daily motivation and a chance to be featured in Shape!

Karma Tube has it all. Watch videos, be inspired, do something. The videos can inspire random acts of kindness. Watching others doing amazing things will motivate us to do what we can too!

That Inspires is a nice collection of videos of random acts of kindness, corporate do-gooders, and good Samaritans.


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Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Blog, Blog, Health, Outdoor Play |

Take The Children Outside!

Why Aren’t The Day Care Children Playing Outside? 

The answers found in this article are astounding and embarrassing to the child care field as a whole.  “Flip Flops, Mulch And No Coat” is the rest of the title of this article.    A study completed in May of 2008 concluded the surprising findings. Apparently child care teachers are keeping kids inside because the children in their care come to school unprepared for outdoor play. Flip flops aren’t appropriate for playgrounds with mulch…flip flops aren’t appropriate for day care!  Child care teachers interviewed for the study stated that  sometimes when a child is under the weather parents will take the child’s coat to work with them to prevent their child from being taken outside.

The worst accusation is that child care teachers have been known to keep children indoors so that they can use their cell phone to text and post Facebook ! Embarrassing!

How will child care ever be regarded with respect if this is the behavior of the ‘professionals’?

The answers aren’t astounding.  Many teachers keep extra socks and shoes (in a range of sizes) in the classroom for just these occasions. The answer to the parent who takes the child’s coat is to call the parent to pick the sick child up from school! If they’re too sick to play they’re too sick for school! The answer to the mulch is first the sneakers on children’s feet will prevent the mulch bothering tiny toes. Secondly grab a broom and push the mulch out of your way!

There’s a tendency, lately, to blame parents for problems in schools.  Apparently this attitude isn’t prevalent only in ‘real school’ but its beginning to take hold in child care as well.  Highly trained professionals take challenges head on, and do not pass the buck to the paying customer.

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Blog, Blog, Health, Outdoor Play |

Heat Wave!

Summer’s Here! With all the fun in the sun don’t forget that all that sunshine can pose health problems, even for kids. Children may not seem to even notice the heat but their bodies are affected just as adults’.  NEVER leave a child in a car or any vehicle, especially in hot weather. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise much higher than the temperature outside, so high that it can cause death. According to the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP) children feel the effects of extreme heat just as adults do so parents need to protect children from prolonged exposure. The AAP recommends parents keep children hydrated, find a cool place with air conditioning (try the library or a mall), give children a cool bath or shower, and to remember the effects of sun exposure. More tips and helpful links can be found on their web page at

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