As COVID-19 cases surged due to the omicron variant, kids are once again facing disruption to their daily routines. That can mean abrupt changes at school, requiring them to navigate quarantines and social isolation.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, offers caregivers advice on how to support children who are struggling with the ever-changing world of the pandemic.

Helping kids cope with the pandemic can seem like an overwhelming feat, but caregivers can do simple things.

“Parents can be such a powerful force in protecting and encouraging, and supporting, children,” says Dr. Ameenuddin.

Anxietydepression and even eating disorders in children have increased due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When things around us are very much not in our control, we try to find what we can hang on to,” says Dr. Ameenuddin.

One way to deal with uncertainty is to focus on what we can control and encourage kids to prioritize activities that contribute to mental wellness, such as getting enough sleep, physical activity and social interactions. And model those behaviors at home, as well.

“This is an opportunity for us to learn to roll with the punches and to go with the flow, and we will do the best we can. And if at the end of the day, we can say we got through this day, OK, then that’s a good thing,” says Dr. Ameenuddin.

Learn more by reading this Mayo Clinic News Network article about how the pandemic is affecting children.

Watch the Mayo Clinic Minute interview with Dr. Ameenuddin:

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.