Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

As we carefully monitor and respond to the outbreak of COVID-19, Brunswick’s administration, health officers, faculty, and staff are closely following updates, recommendations, and protocols issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Brunswick parents will be sent updates by email regularly.

Talking to Children about COVID-19

The following resource has been adapted for Brunswick families from a joint release by the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of School Psychologists. The original release, Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource, may be found here.

Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents and adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that the adults (teachers, school, parents, doctors, politicians, etc.) are working hard to ensure that people throughout our community stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching our boys positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

Here are some tips and strategies for doing that:

List of 8 items.

  • Remain calm and reassuring.

    • Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.
    • What you say and do about COVID-19, current prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety. If your child is overly anxious about what is going on, he may be absorbing that from what he sees or hears at home.
    • If true, emphasize to your children that they and your family are fine.
    • Remind them that adults are here to keep them safe and healthy.
    • Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
  • Be honest and accurate.

    • In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality.
    • Don’t ignore their concerns, but rather explain that, at the present moment, very few people in this country are sick with COVID-19, and we are doing a lot in the school and in the community to help prevent others from getting sick, too.
    • Children can be told this disease is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another — when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • It is also thought it can be spread when you touch an infected surface or object, which is why it is so important to protect yourself.
  • Keep explanations age-appropriate.

    • Pre and Lower School boys need brief, simple information that should balance COVID-19 facts with appropriate reassurances that their homes and Brunswick are safe, and that adults are there to help keep them healthy and to take care of them if they do get sick. Give simple examples of the steps people take every day to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands. Use language such as “adults are working hard to keep you safe.” NPR has created a cartoon that may be helpful.
    • Middle School boys will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what will happen if COVID-19 comes to the school or community. They will most likely need assistance separating reality from rumor and fantasy. Discuss everything that is being done at the school and in the community to prevent the spread of the disease.
    • Upper School boys are able to discuss the issue in a more in-depth fashion, can be referred directly to appropriate sources of COVID-19 facts, and should, in fact, be encouraged to do so. Provide honest, accurate, and factual information about the current status of COVID-19. Having such knowledge can help them feel a sense of control.
  • Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

    • Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
    • Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.
  • Monitor television viewing and social media.

    • Limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.
    • Speak to your son about how many stories about COVID-19 on the Internet may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
    • Talk to your son about factual information of this disease — this can help reduce anxiety.
    • Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety — avoid this.
    • Be aware that developmentally inappropriate information (i.e., information designed for adults) can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children.
    • Engage your son in games or other interesting activities instead.
  • Communicate with Brunswick.

    • Let the school know if your son is sick and keep him home. By providing additional details about your son’s illness to the school, you help Brunswick stay on top of any potential outbreaks in our community. If your son is diagnosed with COVID-19, let the school know so that we can communicate with local health authorities.
    • Speak with your son’s teacher or advisor or a member of Brunswick’s counseling services team if your son is having difficulties as a result of anxiety or stress related to COVID-19
  • Suggested points to emphasize when talking to children.

    • Adults at home and at Brunswick are taking care of your health and safety. If you have concerns, please talk to an adult you trust.
    • Not everyone will get the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. School and health officials are being especially careful to make sure as few people as possible get sick.
    • It is important that all students treat each other with respect and not jump to conclusions about who may or may not have COVID-19.
    • There are things you can do to stay healthy and avoid spreading the disease:
    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    Stay home when you are sick.
    Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    Wash hands often with soap and water (20 seconds).
    If you don’t have soap, use hand sanitizer (60–95% alcohol based).
    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household spray or wipe.
  • Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.

    • Encourage your son to practice everyday good hygiene — simple steps to prevent spread of illness:
    Wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds (singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” slowly takes about 20 seconds).

    Cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough, and throw away the tissue immediately, or sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow. Do not share food or drinks.

    Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Fewer germs are spread this way.
    • Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of control over disease spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.
    • Encourage your son to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; this will help him develop a strong immune system to fight off illness.
    • Illustration: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Brunswick School Greenwich, CT

  • Upper School
    100 Maher Avenue
    Office: 203.625.5856

    Lower School
    1252 King Street
    Office: 203.485.3670
  • Middle School
    1275 King Street
    Office: 203.242.1202

    Pre School
    1252 King Street
    Office: 203.485.3652

Main Phone: 203.625.5800
Business: 203.242.1220 
Alumni: 203.242.1223