05 October 2021

How parents can support children’s online learning

While online learning has been a lifeline for children during school closures, it is no substitute for the classroom and the most vulnerable are left behind. Many teachers have few resources to adapt their classrooms for online learning, while many students do not have access to a curriculum and learning materials that are compatible with online…, Children’s online learning needs, Children of different ages face different challenges in remote classrooms. Parents can play a vital role in helping children learn and develop to their full potential. For young children, they learn and develop skills effectively by interacting with their classmates and teachers – which online learning seriously impedes. Parents can complement…, Tips for parents to help children with online learning, Communicating positively and taking care of mental health Being a good listener, building safe spaces for conversations and providing emotional support will go a long way in stress management, strengthening the bond within the family and giving children the courage and trust to communicate both positive and complicated emotions more openly with…, Tips for teachers to support parents with children’s online learning, Teachers, too, can support families with online learning by: Communicating to parents the big picture of what their children need to learn within a given time period  Taking the time to check in with parents on children’s progress, challenges and learning needs and sharing helpful resources based on those needs The pandemic may bring disruptions…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
20 August 2021

How parents can support their child through COVID-19 losses

Coronavirus is unprecedented in our lifetimes and people around the world are mourning a sense of normalcy and routine. Some may also be grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19. Loss, grief and bereavement are difficult and complicated for anyone, but especially so for children – who may be dealing with this for the first time in their…, What are the differences between loss and grief?, “Loss and grief are powerful psychological experiences that leave adults and children feeling both disrupted and often very sad,” says Dr. Damour. “We might use the term loss to talk about the loss of things that may return – such as the rhythms and routines of life before the pandemic.” Grief, on the other hand, is for something more permanent, “…, How do children feel loss and grief differently from adults?, According to Dr. Damour, a lot will depend on the age of your child. “Very young children may be confused about what happened – both with loss and grief. Children under the age of 5 may not understand why they don’t go to school and why their parents are home. In the case of death, they may not really understand what death is or understand that it…, How can I help my child navigate these emotions?, Be empathetic and be honest with children of all ages, but make sure to be especially clear with young children. “Children under the age of 5, need and deserve very clear, very simple explanations that do not include euphemisms. We can’t tell children that we ‘lost’ someone, because they won’t really understand what we’re trying to say. It’s more…, I lost my own parent and am grieving myself. How can I still be supportive of my child?, “It’s not necessarily bad for children to see adults grieving,” explains Dr. Damour. “When we’re sad about the death of someone we love, we’re having the right reaction at the right time. And it’s important for us to model for children how to weather a difficult feeling, even if it’s a very painful emotion.” If your grief feels too overwhelming,…, What can I expect when my child is grieving the death of a loved one?, According to Dr. Damour, “It’s not at all unusual for children ages 6 – 11 and teenagers to have periods of disbelief or shock about the loss of someone close to them – or even to have moments of forgetting that it occurred, which is a normal and healthy defence that simply gives the mind a break from very painful news. Defences come and go, and…, I’m worried that my child may be depressed. What are some signs to look for?, “Loss and bereavement are both very painful experiences,” explains Dr. Damour. “It’s important to know when a child is handling them appropriately and when it’s time to worry. For children of all ages and adults, it’s time to worry if painful feelings are being managed with negative coping mechanisms such as emotional withdrawal that lasts for…, Missing out on important events is taking a toll on my child. What should I say to him?, “Kids have every right to be upset about how coronavirus has disrupted their normal lives,” says Dr. Damour. Their losses feel bigger for them than they do for us because this disruption is a greater percentage of their time that they remember being alive – and we’re measuring it against our lifetime and experiences. “The way that we adults can be…, My child is having a hard time understanding why we are all staying home right now. How can I explain it to her?, Dr. Damour recommends giving young children a point of reference. “It can be helpful to say: ‘You know how we keep you home from school when you have a cold so you don’t make other people sick? Well this is like that, but it’s a virus that’s more dangerous than a cold. And so we stay home to make sure that we don’t catch the virus, and people with…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
01 July 2021

Cleaning tips to help keep COVID-19 out of your home

Can you catch the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from food? How should I do laundry now? Mundane household tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety as families grapple with getting the basics done all while keeping their loved ones safe and healthy. Widespread misinformation about the virus puts everyone at risk and adds to the…, Cleaning and hygiene tips to protect against COVID-19 , Personal hygiene   Cleaning around the home   Cleaning clothes   Handling and preparing food   >>  Get the latest information and guidance on the COVID-19 virus A young boy is showing his hands covered with soap bubble., Personal hygiene, Simple hygiene measures can help protect your family’s health and everyone else's.   Don’t touch your face Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.   Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands  Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately.   Keep your distance  Maintain a distance of…, Cleaning around the home, Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home regularly is an important precaution to lower the risk of infection.  Follow cleaning product instructions for safe and effective use, including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation. Some national…, Cleaning clothes, It is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, but many items of clothing have plastic and metal elements on which it might live for a few hours to several days. Exercise caution and common sense. Good practices to consider include removing your shoes when you enter your home and changing into clean clothes when you…, Handling and preparing food, While at present there is no evidence of people catching the COVID-19 virus from food or food packaging, it may be possible that people can become infected by touching a surface or object contaminated by the virus and then touching their face.  The greater risk comes from being in close contact with other people while outside food shopping or…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
06 June 2021

How to talk to your children about COVID-19 vaccines

News about COVID-19 vaccines is flooding our daily lives and it is only natural that curious young children will have questions – lots of them. Here are some tips for helping to explain what can be a complicated topic in simple and reassuring terms., 1. Make sure you’re up to date yourself, Before talking to your children about COVID-19 vaccines, it is important that you understand them yourself. A great place to start is our conversation with Dr. Mike Varshavski., 2. Ask and listen, Invite your child to share what they have heard about COVID-19 vaccines and listen to their responses. It is important to be fully engaged and take any fears they have seriously. Be patient, the pandemic and misinformation has caused a lot of worry and uncertainty for everyone. Let them know that they can always talk to you or another trusted…, 3. Be honest with them, Children have a right to know what is going on, but it should be explained to them in an age-appropriate way. Keep in mind that kids take their emotional cues from adults, so even if you are worried for your little one knowing that they might be uncomfortable, try not to overshare your fears with your child. Play can be a helpful tool for working…, 4. Answer their questions, Here are some kid-friendly responses to keep in your back pocket for questions your child may have about COVID-19 vaccines:, What is a vaccine?, A vaccine is like a shield that protects you from an illness., How do vaccines work?, Vaccines teach your body how to fight off illnesses. They do that by putting a tiny piece of the germ that causes the illness you need protection from (or something that looks like the germ) inside your body, so your body can learn what it needs to do to fight it off. This way if you ever come into contact with the illness your body knows exactly…, Are vaccines safe?, Yes, vaccines are very safe! Millions of children (and adults!) get vaccinated every year, which helps protect them from lots of diseases. When we get a vaccine, we might get a temperature or some aches, but this doesn’t last long and is many times better than getting sick from the illness. These signs also show that the vaccine is working and…, When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?, Older people [give an example of a family member or friend] are more at risk of getting sick from COVID-19 than children. That’s why the vaccines are being given to adults first. Doctors are now testing the vaccines to make sure that they work well for children too. We will get the news from our Ministry of Health once it’s ready for kids. In the…, I’m scared of shots! Do I have to get one?, I understand how you’re feeling, but here’s the thing: It’ll be over in the blink of an eye! You’ll feel a quick pinch and then all done, just like you did for other vaccines. When and if it’s time for children to be vaccinated, we’ll practice what it’s like at home before we go to your appointment. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect and…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
04 August 2020

Breastfeeding safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you're a mother or expecting, it is only natural to have questions about what is safest for your baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence is overwhelmingly in support of breastfeeding. The transmission of COVID-19 through breastfeeding or by giving breastmilk has not been detected. Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact and early, exclusive…, Should I breastfeed during the pandemic?, Yes. There is no evidence to date that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through breastfeeding. Breastmilk provides antibodies that give babies everywhere a healthy boost and protect them against many infections. Breastfeeding significantly reduces the risk of death in newborns and young infants, provides lifelong health benefits for children, and…, Can you pass COVID-19 to your baby by breastfeeding?, To date, active COVID-19 (virus that can cause infection) has not been detected in the breastmilk of any mother with COVID-19, so it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breastmilk. Researchers are continuing to test breastmilk from mothers with confirmed and suspected COVID-19. >>  Watch our Mini Parenting Master Class on…, Should I breastfeed if I have or suspect I have COVID-19?, Yes, you should continue breastfeeding with appropriate precautions. The transmission of COVID-19 through breastmilk and breastfeeding has not been detected. Precautions include wearing a medical mask if available, washing your hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub before and after touching your baby, and routinely cleaning…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm breastfeeding or providing expressed milk?, Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for healthy individuals who are lactating or expressing milk.  , Is it safe to continue breastfeeding after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?, Yes, you should continue breastfeeding after vaccination to protect your baby. None of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines currently being used contain the live virus, so there is no risk of passing the virus to your baby through breastmilk.  , What should I do if I’m too unwell to breastfeed?, If you are feeling too sick to nurse, try to find other ways to safely provide your child with breastmilk. Try expressing milk and giving to your child via a clean cup or spoon. You could also consider donor human milk if available in your area. Speak to your breastfeeding counsellor or healthcare professional about the options available to you.…, Should I breastfeed if my child is sick?, Continue to breastfeed your child if she becomes ill. Whether your little one contracts COVID-19 or another illness, it is important to continue nourishing her with breastmilk. Breastfeeding boosts your baby’s immune system, and your antibodies are passed to her through breastmilk, helping her to fight infections.  , What precautions should I take when breastfeeding?, Make sure to follow handwashing guidelines. Your hands should be washed with soap and water before and after touching your baby. You may also use an alcohol-based hand rub. It is also important to clean and disinfect any surfaces that you have touched. Wash breastmilk pumps, milk storage containers and feeding utensils after every use as usual.…, What coronavirus means for breastfeeding, For more information on breastfeeding during COVID-19 see guidance by the  World Health Organization . Article by Mandy Rich, Digital Content Writer, UNICEF This article was originally published on 28 May 2020. It was last updated on 29 July 2021.
01 July 2020

COVID-19 and masks: Tips for families

Masks help stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading, but that doesn’t make them easy to introduce to children, as many parents have been discovering. The practice of wearing a mask to reduce the transmission of germs has a long history in some countries. But for many families, 2020 will be remembered as the first time putting on a mask.  If you…, Why wear a mask or face covering?, One of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads is through respiratory droplets that people expel when they talk, sing, cough or sneeze. While research is ongoing, we now know that the virus can be spread by people not showing symptoms, meaning some people can be contagious and not even realize it. That is one of the reasons why physical distancing is…, What type of mask should I get for my family? , Non-medical masks (also called fabric masks or face coverings): If you and your family live in a place where COVID-19 is widespread and don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, then non-medical masks are recommended. Medical masks: Medical masks are in short supply globally because of the pandemic. They are recommended if you or a family member is at a…, What type of fabric mask is best?, Fabric masks or face coverings come in a wide variety of materials and can be something you make at home or buy in a store. While research into the use of fabric masks is ongoing, their effectiveness depends on the types of fabric used and the number of layers. The World Health Organization recommends three layers made up of: an inner layer of…, What about face shields?, Face shields help provide eye protection, but are not the same as masks when it comes to protection from respiratory droplets. However, for those who have difficulties wearing a non-medical mask (people with cognitive, respiratory, or hearing impairments, for example), face shields can be considered as an alternative. If you choose to use one,…, When should my family wear a mask?, Check to see if your local authorities require you to wear masks in certain settings and for any age-specific recommendations where you live.  Whether your children should wear a mask depends on a number of factors, including their age and ability to safely and appropriately use a mask. See  UNICEF and the World Health Organization's guidance  for…, When shouldn’t you wear a mask?, Masks should not be used worn by anyone who is unable to remove the mask without help, including infants and young children, or anyone having difficulty breathing. UNICEF and WHO recommend  that children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This is based on child safety and recognizes that children may reach developmental…, What should I look for when getting a mask for my children? , Many masks are designed for adults and won’t fit children properly. If you are buying masks, choose one that is appropriately sized for your child. Whether you are buying or making masks for your children, check that they cover their mouth, nose and chin, and don’t have any gaps on the sides or block their vision. Make sure they can breathe…, How to clean a fabric mask, Wash fabric masks using soap or detergent, preferably in hot water (at least 60 degrees Celsius) at least once a day. If machine washing, use the warmest appropriate setting for the type of fabric. If handwashing, use hot, soapy water. After washing, the mask should be dried completely before being worn again. Store masks in a clean bag., How to wear a mask correctly, A graphic of a boy wearing a facial mask properly. Correctly wearing, removing and caring for a mask is important to protect your health and those around you. Practice following this checklist with your family to turn it into a routine. When putting on a mask Always start by washing your hands with soap and water before putting on a mask.  Make…, Talking to your children about masks, The COVID-19 pandemic has upset family life around the world causing stress, anxiety and sadness. Understandably masks may add to such feelings for many children, especially in places where they are not used to wearing masks. For younger children in particular, mask wearing can be confusing and upsetting.  If your family hasn’t worn masks before,…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.