Local experts examine how the coronavirus outbreak takes a toll on child mental health

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Being stuck inside amid the coronavirus outbreak can take a toll on both you and your family.

Experts say it’s important to have a focus on mental health right now.

“I think it’s stressful for everybody, especially children because they may not understand what’s going on as well as adults do,” said Linda Snyder, M.D., Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Youth Villages Medical Director for NC.

Snyder recommends paying attention to your children’s behavior. She said problems sleeping, eating or enjoying usual activities are signs of stress.

She recommends parents tell kids they’re there for questions or discussions.

“I think it’s good to be honest, but don’t overwhelm them with information and try to think about what you want to say to your kids about the pandemic in advance before having the conversation,” said Snyder.

She suggests kids be on a set routine but have a break in the schedule for fun distractions, like games, activities, or movies.

It’s just as important to monitor your own health.

“I always encourage parents to take care of themselves, big time. Take care of yourselves so you can be there to take care of your children.”

She recommends regularly calling loved ones who’ve proven to be supportive in the past.
For more information and guidance, go here.

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