Top Five Tips to Help Children’s Wellbeing in Lockdown

 

Happy New Year everyone.

I hope this latest update finds you and your loved ones well.

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Our practice is here to support you as usual.

I wish you all the very best, 

Dr Yiannis

 

A new COVID 19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

The new COVID-19 variants and children.

Top five tips to help children’s wellbeing in lockdown. 

Other news from the Practice.

 

A new COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

It’s a new year but still an understandably worrying time for parents and families. 

To answer some of the most common questions about COVID-19 and children that we receive at the Practice, I have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you can refer to at any time. These will be updated as new information comes in to keep you as up to date as possible. 

 

The new COVID-19 variants and children.

The latest update relates to the new strains of COVID-19 and how they affect children. Evidence suggests that the new variants are more transmissible in young people under 20 years of age. 

However, to date there is no evidence of there being an increase in the severity of illness among children with COVID-19 caused by any of the new variants of the virus. Find out more over on our COVID-19 and children: Frequently asked questions page.

 

Top five tips to help childrens’ wellbeing in lockdown. 

 

This is a difficult time for all parents and families. Many people are juggling working at home, looking after babies, toddlers and homeschooling older children and teenagers. While there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout, a return to some form of normal living can feel a long way away. We certainly face these challenges in our home with our two school age children.

I found these top five tips helpful at home ( although they are not always easy!) and would like to share them with you as they apply to children of all ages.

 

1.Stay active.

Helping children of all ages to stay active not only keeps them physically healthy but it also improves their mental health and wellbeing – helping them to relax and worry less. 

Children are all different and will enjoy different activities in different amounts. Outdoor exercise such as family walks and bike rides means you’ll get quality time together as a family too. For school age children, virtual activities like PE with Joe Wicks and Cosmic Yoga have proved popular in my house. 

If you have younger toddlers and babies, a walk at lunchtime to take in some fresh air and Vitamin D can lift your spirits and help to break up the day.

 

2.Talking works wonders.

If your child is old enough, talk to them about what’s going on. Encourage them to talk to you about how they feel – whether that’s worried, scared or anxious. Let them know it’s ok to feel that way and that you’re always there for them to answer questions and talk things through. 

Bear in mind that children are very resilient but might not be interested in being bombarded with ‘negative news’. Be mindful of media overload for older children and if they are interested, choose reliable and appropriate news sources for their age.

Babies and toddlers will always benefit from having parents interacting with them. Perhaps one positive of lockdown is that parents are now able to spend more time with younger ones.

3.Doing positive activities together.

As well as physical exercise, spend time doing positive activities with your children. This could be indoors with a board game, cooking or arts and crafts, or outdoors for a scavenger hunt or some den building.

Screen time is inevitable! But try and find the right balance so that you’re engaging and having fun with each other as a family too and don’t feel too guilty about this. I know I have found it difficult to separate work and home life and have to make a conscious effort to separate the two. It’s all about creating positive memories in this unique time and promoting a happy household in a way that’s best for you and your family.

 

4.Keeping a routine.

Keeping a routine in lockdown can be tough. Children are very resilient and have a wonderful ability to cope with changing and difficult circumstances so be reassured they will gain and learn a great deal from adapting their daily routines.

Planning regular times for the basics such as school, work, exercise, fun, relaxation, meal times and sleep can help everyone to feel more positive and give structure and purpose to each day.

 

5.Look after yourselves.

Maintaining your own physical and mental health is vital during this time and is the best gift you can offer your children, so please do take care of yourselves and those close to you. 

Keeping active, sleeping and eating well and taking time out for yourself when you can will benefit everyone in the family. It’s important to accept there will be good days and bad days. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your child. It’s more important they feel happy, safe and loved. 

This is a challenging time for parents and children, but it will not last forever and children of all ages cope well and will learn a great deal from the experience.

 

Other news from the Practice.

I’m pleased to say our virtual First aid training classes are proving very popular and we have added new sessions. Please pass on the details to other parents, NCT groups, grandparents and all carers. Larger group discounts are available. You can book onto a class and make further enquiries by emailing firstaidtraining@doctoryiannis.com.

In my last update, I welcomed Dr Charles Stewart, Consultant Paediatrician, who has joined the practice to run a regular Friday morning clinic at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital and to cover other times throughout the year, when I am not available. Dr Stewart has settled in very well, with the clinic now and up and running smoothly. This clinic also accommodates care and advice for sports and minor injuries for children of all ages. All appointment enquiries through the usual contact email, contact@doctoryiannis.com.

Do you have a question or topic that you would like addressed/covered through this newsletter? Please email ask@doctoryiannis.com and I will aim to include this in the next update.

That’s all for now. As always, we are all here and available to support you with your child’s health. I hope you find the further resources below useful.

Further resources:

MRC Global Infectious disease analysis – transmission in under 20 year olds.

BBC News report – no increase in severe child cases

BBC – How to stay active during lockdown

PE with Joe Wicks on Youtube

Cosmic Yoga on Youtube

NHS latest Covid-19 updates

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