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Coping with social distancing: 6 ideas for kids

Social distancing has been embraced around the globe as the most effective way to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. But for children, the inconveniences of social distancing may be harder to understand, and harder to accept.

It’s more important than ever that you help your children understand the importance of social distancing, and give them options to cope with this new reality. If you’re looking for ideas, here are six to consider.

  1. Set up video chats with their friends, aka “virtual play dates.”

Online video sessions are one of the best ways to help kids stay in touch with friends while respecting the rules of social distancing. Depending on the age and school of your children, they may already be using Skype, Zoom and other video messaging tools to meet with classmates and teachers in virtual classrooms. But children can also use video conferencing technology to host video chats that are purely for fun. As a parent, you can help set up and organize these play dates so that kids continue to get the social interaction they crave.

  1. Write letters or make art to mail to friends.

Teach children the joys of old-fashioned interaction and correspondence: While everyone is stuck at home, use the postal service to send letters to friends, as well as artwork that can be mailed without a trip to the post office.

  1. Use computers and mobile devices to play games with friends.

Whether or not you allow video games in your house during normal day-to-day life, this can become a valuable outlook for entertainment and interaction during periods of social distancing. Help your kids go on your computer, mobile devices, or a video game console and connect with their friends virtually. It may not be your ideal method of having kids interact with others, but given the limited circumstances, it can be a lifesaver for both children and their parents.

  1. Find safe spaces to enjoy the outdoors.

Going outside can be challenging if you live in a high-density neighborhood where other people are crowding sidewalks and public spaces. But if you have easy access to empty outdoor spaces, going outside can be a great way to get your kids some fresh air, exercise, and stimulation outside of the home.

Children of any age can struggle with the limitations created by quarantines and social distancing. As a parent, you might not be able to address these frustrations entirely, but you can give them the outlets they need to cope with these circumstances and continue interacting with their friends during this difficult time.

As a reminder, a preventative care visit is important for your pediatrician to monitor your child’s growth and development and it is exceedingly important that your child remain up to date on vaccines, including the flu vaccine. This is a great time to discuss any concerns you might have about your child. If he or she isn’t doing well physically, academically or socially, this is an excellent time to reach out for help especially during such a confusing and challenging time.

Pediatric Associates has gone to great lengths to keep our offices as clean and safe as possible, including:

  • separating well and sick visits by morning and afternoon sessions
  • increasing our cleaning protocols, taking patient and caregiver temperatures upon arrival
  • allowing for patients and caregivers to wait in their cars or outside between check in and their appointment
  • reducing the number of caregivers and family members attending each appointment

If your child is due for well visit, now is the ideal time to cross that off your to-do list. Our offices are clean and capacity is controlled. Call 855-KIDZ-DOC to schedule your well visit appointment today. We are available 24/7 to answer your call and schedule an appointment.

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