By the time a child is old enough to remember what happened in that summer of 2012, they’ve already experienced a lot.
But what’s the best way to ensure your child’s health and wellbeing during the coming years?
The Globe and Mail’s experts weigh in with their recommendations for a healthy transition to life after a pandemics.
Talk to your child about your concerns: “The best advice is to talk to your children about what is happening in the world and why it is happening,” said Lyle Ochsner, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“The goal is to give them a sense of what is going on, and what is at stake.
They will come to you with their concerns.”
You can talk to them about your health problems, as well as how they’re coping, through an online survey or other media, he added.
“There’s a real understanding that you’re talking about them and you’re trying to help them, but you also have to be willing to talk about your own issues.”
Talk to them and their parents about the issues that are affecting them, too, to get their perspective.
“When your children are young and they’re in the infancy stage, you don’t know what’s going on in the rest of their lives,” Ochsen said.
“But once they get older, the burden is really on you to care for them.”
Talk about their illness.
“Talk about your illness,” he said.
When you see your child in the emergency room, ask what’s happening.
Talk about how you feel.
Talk with your child and family about how they can help.
“Don’t be a bystander,” Oechsner said.
Ask your child what’s being done about their symptoms and what can be done about them.
Talk directly to them, Ochson said.
For children, talk with a doctor about what your child needs to know.
“You need to talk with them about their medical history, their symptoms, the symptoms of other children, the vaccines they’ve had, whether there’s any medications they’re taking,” Ochnson said, adding that children should also talk with their pediatrician about their specific health needs and their specific vaccine requirements.
Talk through what the doctor is likely to do, Oechson said; the best thing to do is to ask your child to go to the doctor before the end of the month and get their diagnosis.
“It’s the first thing that they should talk to their doctor about,” he added, “so they know that they have a plan in place for when they have the time and energy.”
Don’t wait too long to talk: While the number of children in the United States is growing, a pandemia that can be treated with medication is not, Ochnsner noted.
“In the last two years, the pandemic has slowed down a lot, so we’ve been able to get the medicine that we need,” he told The Globe.
“We’ve been very careful, because there’s a lot of data to support the idea that there’s no longer an opportunity to delay.”
So, instead of waiting for the medicine, Ouchsner recommends that you talk with your children and ask them if they want to talk more about it.
“If they don’t want to do it, they’re free to talk,” he advised.
Ouchsen also suggested that parents ask their child’s pediatrician or health care provider if there is a way they can contact them before they go to their physician for a diagnosis or treatment.
Get help now: As parents, “you have to step in and take care of yourself first,” Ouchson said in an email.
“Your primary care physician is an expert in their field and you need to have their support, which will help you to understand what the best approach is for you and your child.”
Discuss the options with your pediatrician and your health care team.
If you can’t find a way to talk at home, Oochsner suggested calling your doctor.
“They may have a list of ways you can talk about the issue, and the most effective way is to go there and have your child speak with the doctor or the pediatrician,” he explained.
“Because of the way that the pandemias are impacting the pediatric population, the time has come for a lot more support to come to bear.”
Get vaccinated: If you have kids, Ochtsner added, get vaccinated.
“Get a shot,” he recommended.
“Be sure to be vaccinated, but the longer it takes, the less likely you are to survive,” Ochtssen said.
Consider getting vaccinated early: There are several factors that can lead to a pandemaker’s early onset, Oichsner told The Boston Globe.
The first is the virus itself, which is very infectious.
“Once you’ve got that