Supporting children during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Resource Summary

With recent news and media coverage about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), following on from a difficult bushfire season, it is normal for children and adults to feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time.

This curated selection of resources will assist parents and carers to best support their children and reduce worry and distress. It contains videos, factsheets and tips about what you can expect and how you can help children cope.

Emerging Minds COVID-19 resources – printable summary

This printable summary highlights key Emerging Minds COVID-19 resources as featured below.

Video: Talking to children about the COVID-19 pandemic

This short video introduces ways for parents and carers to talk to their children about the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with taking care of one another and supporting each other.

Video: Managing routines for children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Children need routine and structure as much as they need free time and play. As families are spending more time at home together, this short video introduces ways for parents and carers to manage routines for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Factsheet: Communicating with your child about COVID-19

Many parents and carers may be wondering how to talk with their child or children about COVID-19 and what information to share. This resource is designed to help you to prepare for these conversations.

Factsheet: Using play to support children during COVID-19

While social distancing rules are in place, children are unable to play with their friends in the way that they are used to. This makes play time at home especially important. The following five tips can help you use play to support your child’s mental health during COVID-19.

Podcast: Children’s mental health during COVID-19

How might children’s social and emotional wellbeing be affected by the changes brought about in response to the COVID-19 pandemicIn this episode, Brad Morgan, Director of Emerging Minds, discusses some challenges that might be coming up for families at this time as they navigate spending more time at home together. 

Video: Talking to children about natural disasters, traumatic events, or worries about the future

This short video introduces ways for parents and carers to manage media coverage of traumatic events, and talk to their children about their worries and fears.

Factsheet: Helping children cope with stress during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This factsheet, originally developed by the World Health Organisation, provides tips for parents and carers to help support their children who may be feeling stressed due to the recent news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Factsheet: Traumatic events, the media and your child

With COVID-19 updates currently on our screens, radios and newspapers, parents and carers might be wondering how best to support their children and reduce worry and distress. This factsheet focuses on tips to manage children’s exposure to media coverage.

Guide and tools: Coronavirus (COVID-19): family guide – 

In response to the increasing concern in the community, alongside changes to everyday routines arising from efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, has launched a number of new evidence-based resources for families with information on COVID-19. These resources include articles on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and children in Australia, which includes information about how the virus can affect children and how to talk to children about COVID-19, Tips and links to help families manage physical distancing or self-isolation, which includes information on routines, keeping children active, ideas for entertaining children, healthy screen time and mental health, and Coronavirus (COVID-19) and pregnancy.

Factsheet: How to talk to your children about coronavirus (COVID-19)

UNICEF Australia have created eight tips to help comfort and protect children when discussing COVID-19.

Website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) –

Healthdirect encourages people to go online to find information they need and relieve the demand on helplines. The website is regularly updated from government resources to provide timely and accurate consumer-friendly advice and information. Other tools include the healthdirect Symptom Checker to identify people experiencing COVID-19-specific symptoms and provide advice on what they should do next, such as calling ahead before visiting a GP or emergency department, the Service Finder listing the COVID-19 respiratory centres as they are established and the healthdirect app which includes all of the above in one place.

Article: Parents need stress relief, too – The New York Times

This article offers some coping strategies for parents suffering from COVID-19 anxiety.

Guide: Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty

Psychology Tools has put together a guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.

Podcast: The power of play

The recent news of event cancellations and limiting exposure to large groups of people is likely to create more time for families to spend together. Parents and carers may be wondering how to support and engage with their children, and strengthen their relationship with their child. Our podcast ‘The power of play’, introduces the concept of child-led play and talks about the importance of play for child social and emotional wellbeing.

Practice Paper: Parent-child play: A mental health promotion strategy for all children

This resource provides practical information on the use of play to strengthen child-parent relationships and promote children’s mental health.

Factsheet: Parent-child play: Practice resource

This resource compliments the practice paper ‘Parent-child play: A mental health promotion strategy for all children’.

It has two components: a conversation guide that practitioners can work through with families, and practitioner notes that provide support for introducing parent-child play and using the conversation guide. The conversation guide is for use with families who are interested in working on their playtime.

Factsheet: Parent-child play: Conversation guide

This resource compliments the practice paper ‘Parent-child play: A mental health promotion strategy for all children’.  It is intended to be filled in by parents but provides an opportunity for the child and practitioner involved to talk about the benefits of play in a family.

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