At Shriners Hospitals for Children, the health and safety of our patients, families, volunteers and staff is our top priority. With the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are closely monitoring updates from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are actively following their recommendations.

If your child has an upcoming appointment, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children location.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago visitor information – Updates

Skip to navigation

What we're up to

news News Wednesday, April 22, 2020 Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:39 AM - Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:39 AM

Helping kids cope – psychology tips during coronavirus pandemic

Helping kids cope – psychology tips during coronavirus pandemic

As the stay-at-home time during the coronavirus pandemic extends, it seems that kids are dealing with more anxiety. Chicago Shriners Hospital psychologists offer tips to parents to help children cope during COVID-19.

  1. Start the conversation by asking the child what he or she knows about coronavirus. It is important to address misinformation, which may lead to additional fear. Answer questions honestly. It is okay to tell your child you are not sure but you will find an answer.
  2. Comfort children by letting them know that masks, social isolation, school closings and canceled activities are meant to protect them and others. Reassure them that health care professionals, researchers and government officials are working to address the situation so everyone can be safe and return to their typical routines as soon as possible. You can re-frame cancelations and closures in a positive way, as a special time where we have more time at home as a family used for fun.
  3. If your child expresses fear, listen to them and acknowledge their fears. Let the child know that he or she is being heard and not dismissed. You can practice “reflective listening” by seeking to understand what the fear is, and then rephrasing it in a developmentally appropriate way to ensure that the child has been understood.
  4. Develop and maintain weekday and weekend routines to create stability and structure, which creates a sense of comfort in children. This includes e-learning, sleep, meal routines and family activities.
  5. Limit the child's exposure to social media and the news. Be aware of what the child is reading or hearing. Setting limits on screen time is critical. It is important for children to connect with friends during this time via phone calls, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom, but continue to monitor the nature of these conversations to avoid misinformation and provide opportunities to answer questions in an open and honest way. Remind children that they should ask a trusted adult if they have questions or fears.

Finally, the psychology team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago said parents should avoid talking about COVID-19 before bedtime. Worrying about real-world events may impact your children’s sleep.

Here are links to two free e-books that parents can also use with children:

Something Strange Happened in My City

A Kids Book About COVID-19™