Kids and COVID-19: Holiday safety guidelines and addressing mental health struggles stemming from the pandemic

Sunrise Interviews

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Dr. Nimisha Amin, a local Pediatrician, joined 17 News at Sunrise to discuss guidelines for celebrating the holidays safely and how the pandemic has impacted children’s mental health.

If you are going to gather over the holidays, Dr. Amin says to keep your gathering small and outdoors. “There is a very large degree of protection when people can space out outdoors as opposed to confined indoors. If is is too chilly and you are going to be indoors, bundle up and open the windows because having some ventilation is definitely better than no ventilation.”

Dr. Amin says testing before seeing family is not an ideal way to ensure a safe holiday gathering. “The same way that a cold can develop overnight or through the process of a day, you could literally be negative in the morning and test positive by the evening. Particularly with the surges in cases right now there are going to be asymptomatic individuals that each of us come across and we don’t want to become one of those individuals and inadvertently share this virus with someone in our family that could be more vulnerable to it.”

Dr. Amin says that there is definitely a decline happening in children’s mental health across all ages and encourages parents to remain in communication with kids. “Try to improve those lines of communication with our children. When we talk to them we need to let them talk. As parents we tend to butt in a little bit too much, we tend to talk over them because we are so quick to offer solutions and when we do that our children often don’t feel heard.”

If your child does not open up to you or you feel the need to seek help, reach out to your primary care doctor or a mental health provider. “The worst thing you can do is to assume that it will go away and it will get better as things pass, it is always better to be proactive in this situation and to seek help because therapy never hurts even if it is not necessarily needed.”

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