Thrive With Your Family: Supporting Kids With Chronic Diseases During COVID-19

May 14, 2020 3:26 PM

How to help children with chronic medical conditions manage their daily care, and tips for when they refuse to wear a mask.

A nationally recognized panel of Michigan Medicine specialists tackle stressors, concerns and difficulties families face in the ever-changing environment of the current global pandemic. With candid conversations on parenting, the group addresses child behavior, mental health and relationships. Find all the episodes here.

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Having a chronic disease is stressful enough, but living through a pandemic makes it all the more challenging. Without school or daycare, the security and structure usually in place to help children with chronic diseases manage tasks and daily medical care are temporarily gone. How can parents best support their children when these unexpected changes occur?

In the fifth episode of Thrive With Your Family, hosts Jenny Radesky, M.D., and Melissa Cousino, Ph.D., along with guest panelists, Nasuh Malas, M.D., MPH and Dana Albright, Ph.D., discuss these questions, and more:

- There’s so much uncertainty in the world today and my child with chronic illness does not do well with such unexpected changes. How do I create a sense of safety and structure in such an uncertain world? (8:47)

- Are there any concrete practical tasks children get a nice sense of control out of? (14:09)

- Without the structure of school, daily health behaviors have become increasingly challenging. How can I help my child complete all their necessary medical care? (20:47)

- My child has a heart condition and developmental delays. I know he needs to wear a mask but he refuses. What guidance can you provide around mask wearing? (33:07)

Editor’s note: Information on the COVID-19 crisis is constantly changing. For the latest numbers and updates, keep checking the CDC’s website. For the most up-to-date information from Michigan Medicine, visit the hospital's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage

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