Supporting children during COVID-19

Apr 12, 2022 • 2 min

Children and teens react to the adults around them, but coping with events surrounding COVID-19 confidently can provide support. Walgreens Pharmacist Emily Shafer provides behavioral changes to watch for, along with ways to support your children during this time.


Hi, I’m Emily Shafer, clinical pharmacist with the Walgreens Office of Clinical Integrity. Children and teens react to what they see from the adults around them, so when parents and caregivers can handle COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch out for include excessive crying or irritation in younger children, returning to behaviors they have outgrown, such as toileting accidents or bed-wetting, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, irritability or acting out behavior in teens, difficulty with attention and concentration, avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past, unexplained headaches or body pain, or use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. The CDC recommends a number of things you can do to support your children during this time.

Talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak, in a way they can understand. Reassure them that they are safe, and let them know that it’s OK if they feel upset Share with them how you deal with your own stress, so that they can learn how to cope from you. Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand. Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning, relaxing, and having fun. Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat well, and connect with your friends and family members.

If stress gets in the way of your child’s daily activities for several days, please call your healthcare provider. If you have a question, leave a comment in the box below.