For several families, the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite stressful. Each one of our family members, especially the children, has seen a massive change in their everyday routine in the past year. It can be pretty troublesome for children and even disrupt the whole family. A vital part of the pandemic, which could be the reason for stress in children, is when they need to get a COVID-19 test. However, there is a silver lining. As a parent or a caregiver, you can do many things that can ease down their anxiety and fear. The fact remains, if a child is more comfortable and cooperative, they are better prepared to take the COVID-19 test. So, here is a list of things that you should do to ease your child’s anxiety before the test.
Before you sit down with your child to tell them about the test, you need to prepare yourself, and only then can you prepare your child. For this, you should gather all the relevant information to share with your child. You can use credible sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or data from local health departments. Both of these sources can give you ample information about the virus, precautions, and testing.
Share information with them to prepare better
Kids have a vivid imagination, and in a situation like what we are encountering right now, you cannot expect it to be very positive. They may have negative and anxiety-driven thoughts as soon as they hear about their need to have a test. So, for their safety, kids should be made aware of the whole situation prevailing around them. You can opt for a kid-friendly approach, educate them about the crisis, tell them how a test is performed, and share everything they should do to protect themselves. Moira, an educator who offers assignment help USA services, says, ‘In times like these, it is vital for parents or caregivers to be as honest, and upfront as possible. You should best stick to the facts and avoid feeding them with negative information. The idea is to relax them, and make them feel confident about the test, and not scare them.’
Irrespective of your child’s age, as a parent, one of the most quintessential things that you can do to prepare them for the test is by being reassuring and calm yourself. Children can easily sense when they are stressed. Given that there is so much information available today on the internet, the parents need to sort through it. Of course, there will be things that worry you, but if you take your child for a test, you have to be calm and comfort your child first.
Explain the process of the test
How you define the test process to your child largely depends on your child’s age. For school-going or young children, the parents can depict by touching the inside of the nose’s end with a skinny, long cotton swab.
Jessica, an educator who works with TAE, a platform where you can find ‘take my online class for me’services, shares how she explained the situation to her 6-year old.
‘So, when you go for a test, a healthcare provider will come and put a skinny, cotton swab into your nose. This may hurt or tickle a little but won’t last more than a second. It will give them a sample from your nose. Through this whole second, you have a very outstanding job to play – you have to sit still like a statue so that the process happens smoothly.’
Distract them during the test to ease their anxiety
If your child is afraid of needles and pins, looking at the COVID test kit can make them nervous. Further, waiting in line to get the test will only add to the anxiety. So, it would help if you used this time to distract them. Justine, an microeconomics homework help, says that ‘While I was in line with my little one for the line, I played a fun game with him. It did help him be more comfortable and calmer during the test.’
You can even narrate a story to them or play some music in the background before the test and while they get the test. All of these are great ways to get your child to feel relaxed.
Make them sit comfortably.
Forcing protocols or pushing any restraint on the child is only going to leave them feeling uncomfortable. Restraint may have medical outcomes and might unnecessarily stress your child. So, when your child is feeling anxious or scared, hold their hand, or sit by their side. It is imperative when the doctor pushes the swab in their nose. If the child is small, you can have them sit in your lap. After the test is done, you need to comfort and hug them and praise them for doing the best they could. You can even use this strategy later during their other vaccinations.