Our team of environmental pediatricians has put together some information to help keep your home and family safe and healthy.
You may lose touch with people and places
Physical distancing (at least 6 feet) is essential for communities to stop the transmission of coronavirus. This means gathering with people in everyday settings is not possible, and leads to more time spent at home.
More time at home can increase stress for children and caregivers
Feelings of stress and uneasiness are normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Time at home can be isolating, confining, and can make other problems and worries worse. You may be worried about money, food, childcare, school or getting sick. There is uncertainty about when life will return to normal.
It’s important to take care of both your physical and mental well-being during this difficult time.
Solutions for Stress
1. Get help now if you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious or in danger:
New York City: call 1-888-NYC-WELL or go to the NYC Well website.
New York State: call 1-844-863-9314 or go to the Office of Mental Health website.
Check your County Health Department for specific resources in your area
National: text “HELLO” to 741741 or go to the Crisis Text Line website to connect with a counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
2. Remove some of the stress.
There are resources available to you for taking care of your needs (below). See right column for more resources regarding food, finances, childcare, housing and other important needs.
Get help in New York State
NYS Know Your Rights for Individuals
Get help in New York City:
NYC COVID-19 Citywide Information Portal
Visit the CDC for more information on managing stress.
3. Maintain connections with the people that matter.
Physical distancing doesn’t need to be social distancing. Time spent talking on the phone or by video is important for children and adults (and it’s not the same as “screen time”).
4. Regular exercise improves physical and mental well-being.
With or without a pandemic, children are recommended to get an hour of physical activity each day; adults should aim for 75-150 minutes per week. Short periods of indoor activity like a workout, yoga or dancing, or even active household chores count.
5. Go outside.
Especially as the weather brightens, being outdoors is enjoyable as well as healthy. Physical distancing and wearing a mask are ways to prevent transmission of coronavirus while you’re out. Anything from a walk around the block to a trip to the park is valuable. (Entry to all New York state, county, and municipal parks is currently free: https://parks.ny.gov/)
6. Disconnect from the news.
It can be overwhelming. Instead of following news commentary or social media feeds, it can be helpful to check objective, up-to-date summaries instead.
7. Stick to a routine if possible.
Regular times for eating, learning, playing, going outdoors, and sleeping can help you feel better and help childrens’ behavior during stressful times.