Helping children through COVID-19 pandemic grief

“Not telling them does not protect them,” said one of the authors, Louise Dalton, a consultant clinical psychologist in the department of psychiatry at Oxford, who led the project together with Elizabeth Rapa, a senior postdoctoral researcher. “Even young children are aware of the changes that have happened in everyone’s life.”

The group had developed guidance for the health care workers who found themselves in the new pandemic position of having to deliver bad news by phone, and they worried, Rapa said, that family isolation during the pandemic meant that “children would be even more invisible.” So their guidelines emphasized the importance of finding out whether the deceased person left children who would need to be told, and offering help to the family member who would have to do the telling…