Why does COVID put children at a higher risk of abuse?

Due to the fact that children currently are doing school at home and some parents are not currently working or out of jobs. This could put children at a greater risk for either witnessing abuse or being abused themselves. They are not around as many mandated reporters then when they were in school, as well. Also, family units that were already stressed or dysfunctional prior to covid-19 will be at a greater risk now because they may not be able to self-regulate during this pandemic.  If the adults around the child have a hard time modeling self-regulation this can impact the emotional well-being of the children because they will not learn the skills to be able to self-regulate themselves. Also, they are isolated at home with potential perpetrators as well.

 

What do schools closing mean for children?

It means that their school life has been disrupted and changed. They are isolated at home and now cannot do their normal daily activities that they may have enjoyed with their peers. They also may not be around their support systems. School may have been a great support for them and now they can only access it through their computer.

 

How can children that are in safe home cope with stress?

Hopefully they have access to online sites and they can utilize different coping skills, such as meditations, yoga or any form of exercise. Being able to go outside can be beneficial as well but they should also utilize social distancing in a safe manner. They may also have other outlets that they may have had prior, such as, therapy or counseling and they are able to meet with their counselors via telehealth. Right now, their normal is not what they are used to, so it might be beneficial to take small 10- or 15-minute breaks between school to self-regulate.

 

What can parents do to help their children?

They can be supportive to their children and help model safe ways to regulate their emotions. Also telling them that it is ok to not be ok right now. The world is in a crisis and they are doing their best to get through, day by day.

 

Why is it important for the community to be aware of the impacts ‘social distancing’ has on children?

It is always good for the community to be aware of populations that are greatly impacted by certain events. And especially we do not want children to be forgotten during this time as well.

 

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A helpful Resources:

The Pandemic Toolkit Parents Need

 

If you or someone in your family needs more support, please take a look at our children’s page, educational resources page or call our free & confidential, 24-hour hotline at 570-421-4200.