Site Menu

COVID-19 Updates #9

COVID-19: How to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Mindset Throughout the Pandemic

April 17, 2020

COVID-19 has become the center of all conversations and is all over our television and computer screens. While we, adults, worry about our new routine, we must not forget that our children too have had their lives turned upside down and may deeply worry about themselves, their family, and their friends. The Assist America Team has compiled resources and information to help you ensure that your children keep a healthy mindset during the pandemic.

Encourage Open COVID-19 Discussions 

Children need to understand why their lives have shifted so rapidly. Parents should not be afraid to have age-appropriate, open and honest discussions with their children. Click here to download the CDC’s guide to talking to children about the pandemic. Other resources such as YouTube videos or online books explaining what the coronavirus can be a good conversation starter. A few that our Team has found helpful include:

Maintain Structure as Much as Possible

Whether you have teens, preschoolers, or college students at home, they all need to adapt to a new routine. To help them through the changes, maintaining a daily structure and differentiating school days from weekends will help them carry a strong foundation throughout this physical distancing period. Good sleep hygiene, nutrition, self-care, and activities outside of screen time are all part of this foundation.

For tips about how to manage the daily life under home isolation with young kids, read the article written by one of Assist America's staff members: "Home Isolation with Three Children Ten and Under."

Teach Preventive Measures 
Help your children feel that they are in control by teaching them how to stay safe and healthy. It is important that they also follow the physical distancing and hygiene measures instructed by the World Health Organization: 
  • Remind children to stay at least 6 feet away from people when outside the house 
  • Teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue and throw the tissue away immediately after use
  • Teach them to wash their hands for 20 seconds and use either soap and water or hand sanitizer. Check out this CDC Handwashing flyer for guidance in teaching proper handwashing habits to kids.

Be Mindful of Exposure to the News 

While it is important to stay informed, it’s also critical not to expose children to stressful news. Kids can understand much more than what we would assume. Current figures discussed repeatedly on TV regarding the number of confirmed cases, deaths, or even unemployment rates may worry children about their safety and their family or friend’s health or financial state. Parents should keep control of the narrative and how they want COVID-19 news to be told and explained to their children. Avoid watching the news when the kids are around, and carefully select the topics you want to discuss as a family.
Establish Physical Distancing, Not Social Distancing
This pandemic is an isolating experience in nature. However, there are ways to instill many social interactions in your children's daily routine. A savvy use of technology will help them keep in touch with their friends and schoolmates. 
Prefer regular voice or video chats to connect your children with their friends and family members over text messaging, which can become too impersonal. From movie or dinner parties, game nights, online video games, book clubs, or even karaoke nights, be creative and try to adapt usual hobbies to be played and enjoyed with friends and families through the Internet. Click here for game and activities your kids can do during their “remote play-dates”. 
Finally, while in isolation, it is a good time for children to discover the joy of sending and receiving hand-written letters. This initiative can be both educational and fun. If you need stamps or other mailing supplies, avoid going to the post office and order supplies such as stamps and envelopes online if possible.

Ensure Children Online Safety

The UNICEF warns that, because of the increased time on online platforms, children around the world are at increased risk of harm by online predators. Parents should: 
  • Ensure that children’s devices have the latest updates and antivirus programs installed
  • Have open dialogues about how and with whom they are communicating online
  • Establish rules for how, when and where the devices can be used
  • Know and be alert to signs of distress in children that may emerge from their online activity


Our free Apps for iPhone and Android give you instant access to a wide range of assistance including one-touch call to our 24/7 Emergency Operations Center, travel alerts, pre-trip information, and more.


For pre-trip information: Assist America members can view pre-trip information on the Assist America website, Log in using your Assist America reference number. Interested in learning more about Assist America? Please visit us at Tell a fellow traveler about the newsletter and show them how to subscribe online! Interested in having your organization become a member of Assist America? Please e-mail us at The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.