SIU professor’s video to teach preschool children COVID-19 safety

Preschoolers and the pandemic

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - An Southern Illinois University professor is teaming up with Sigma Xi and Dr. Claire Gibson out of Alberta Canada.

Lisabeth DiLalla Professor of Family and community medicine at SIU is working on an easy way to teach safety to young children about COVID-19.

“We proposed a project to to create a, um, a video for daycare teachers to show their preschool children," she said.

The project includes many simple but easy things adults are used to but not all children are.

“The point is to explain to them what’s going on with COVID a little bit but mainly focus on safe health behaviors, so like washing your hands, not touching toys that other kids could touch and get germs and the fun of wearing a mask and playing superhero with it," she said.

These are some of the ways DiLalla is illustrating their message.

"We have paint to show and replicate germs, so showing the transmission from hand to toy to another child. We have silly string so when you are talking throwing your germs out to someone else "

Lee Eklund, the director of Malones Early Learning Center in Carterville, said this would be a big boost in teaching safe practices for his young students

“It would be a good orientation for the school kids or for the pre-K children at the beginning of the year and then throughout the year; also just a quick reminder for the children," Eklund said.

He said it has been difficult explain to kids why they have to wear a mask.

“It would be a big benefit to the school kids or to the preschool kids, a lot of them don’t understand why they are wearing mask.”

Eklund said he would show this video at his center for all his kids to learn and remind them.

DiLalla is trying to stretch this study from Southern Illinois to the lower Missouri Area. Her goal is to make kids not fearful of wearing a mask.

“It becomes sort of a game that they would enjoy wearing the mask more and hopefully bring that message home to their parents so that the whole family does the same.”

The final video should be finished by the end of this week.

DiLalla asked pre-school teachers to check their emails for the information she has shared with them.

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