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Dr. Sandra Pimentel, Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, offers ways to build hope for kids, as well as how to manage negative information to stay positive and hopeful and the importance of gratitude

Montefiore's Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Dr. Sandra Pimentel, offers ways to build hope for kids, including what we can do to manage the negative information about COVID-19 and how to find the positive that is hopeful. Dr. Pimentel also explains the important role of gratitude.

Transcript

Parenting: Creating Hope for Kids in the Era of COVID-19

How can we build a sense of hope in our kids during the era of COVID-19?

As the COVID pandemic and its effects drag on, it's important to consider ways that we can build hope in ourselves, in kids. First, it's important to validate, It's dragging on. We are experiencing a lot of feelings of dread and bracing for what's to come. It's really hard. It's important to acknowledge some folks are talking about this as a marathon. And in fact, marathons have a beginning, a middle and an end. And we're not quite sure when this all will end. So it's important to acknowledge that these are hard times and these are challenging for all of us. We don't know when it's going to end. So it's important to acknowledge that.

What is hope and we can we be active in creating it?

The next step is to think about hope and to find hope. What is it? It's a feeling. It's something that we wish for. We hope things get better. It's also a discipline. Hope is a discipline that we can practice. It's a skill that we can build. It's a sense of agency that we can say, hey well, I hope things get better and here's what I'm gonna do to help in my way to help things get better. So thinking about hope, both as a feeling and as something that we can do and we can build on, it's the roll your sleeves up kind of hope that we wanna teach kids about.

How can we manage the negative information about COVID-19 to build hope?

Another very important aspect is helping families to manage information. There's a lot of negative, hope squashing information out there in the news on social media. So it's important to manage and really curate the information that you let in your household. It's important to be informed without allowing yourself to be overwhelmed and to teach kids how to do that. You wanna shut off the news after a certain amount of time, you wanna stop scrolling and doom scrolling after a certain amount of time, you wanna teach kids how to do that too. And related to managing the negative information in, you wanna look for and seek out the positive information as well. You wanna find joy because it is out there even in these very trying times. And we wanna teach kids and model that for kids in terms of managing the information and looking for certain types of information. Related to that, there are a lot of positive special things that have come out of these times. Yes, quarantine was very difficult, and for many that meant more time with family that they may not have otherwise had. It may have meant learning a new skill that may have meant trying something different or expanding on an old skill. Hiking, getting out in nature more. We know that a lot of people did that. It's important to acknowledge that there has been some special things that have come out of these times and helping kids to recognize that too, and that will help to build hope.

What are ways to look for the positive and what is hopeful?

Sometimes we get asked, how do I help kids focus on the good? And it's an important question. How do we teach kids to focus on the good? Number one we have to model it. We have to observe and notice the good ourselves. We have to do it on purpose and point it out. We have to find and look for joy. We have to point out and look for, as Mr. Rogers would say, the helpers. There's are so many helpers out there. There are so many people doing good, hopeful things, helping neighbors and communities. So it's important to point those out and to show kids that those are happening. Those hopeful things are happening. We also wanna positively reinforce and catch when kids themselves are doing some of those good things, 'cause they are. And being able to point that out and say, you know, I was really proud of you for the way that you helped your sister the other day. And we wanna catch the positive and catch them being good. We wanna praise them in a specific and labeled way. So it's one thing to say, good job. It's another thing to say good job, I'm really proud of you for helping your sister or picking up that piece of litter off the ground. So in addition to catching the good, we wanna create some good. There are so many ways to be creative and create hopeful and meaningful things in art, in music, in writing, in gardening, we can cook. And helping kids find that hopeful action includes creating and doing some of those things. In addition to volunteering, helping out with something in the household or in the neighborhood, or finding something meaningful to that child. Whether it's, you know, helping an elderly neighbor or volunteering for a group in your neighborhood. So creating good is another way to create hopeful action. And another very, very important way that we can build hope is through gratitude. Creating a daily or regular gratitude practice. And there are many ways to do this. You can do it at the dinner table where you go around the table and everyone talks about something that they're grateful for. On a walk, if you're walking with your child to school, from school or to a store, from a store, Doing it on purpose and with intention. Creating the gratitude practice before bedtime. Naming three things that you're grateful for in the course of the day, even the little things, the person who helped you holding the door open, the person who smiled at you and cheered up your mood or sent you that text and made you feel better. And practicing and showing your kids that you are practicing this daily. And helping and encouraging them to do it as well. So creating a daily and regular gratitude practice also builds hope. One final note, it's important to note that hope is not toxic positivity. It doesn't mean that we think that everything is going to be fine and everything is great. There's been a lot of loss and grief during these times and it's important to acknowledge those. And it's, you know, saying it's gonna all be fine, isn't helpful. What we can do is work on cultivating hopeful, pragmatic action that can move us in that direction.

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Dr. Leandro Slipczuk Bustamante, Director of Cardiac Imaging at Montefiore's Cardiology Division, discusses heart failure symptoms and when and how to seek medical attention in the era of COVID-19.

Dr. Leandro Slipczuk Bustamante, Director of Cardiac Imaging at Montefiore's Cardiology Division, discusses heart failure symptoms and when and how to seek medical attention in the era of COVID-19.

Transcript

How and When to Seek Medical Attention for Heart Failure Symptoms in the Era of COVID-19

When and how to seek medical attention if you are experiencing heart failure symptoms?

Patients should seek medical attention for heart failure symptoms such as persistent swelling in their legs, shortness of breath, if they cannot lay flat or if they notice significant weight gain. And their symptoms get bad such as they can not walk around their house. So they're significantly short of breath at rest, they should call 911. If symptoms are milder, they can reach to us in the clinic or using video visits through Montefiore FIRST app or through telephone visits. It is very important that patients reach medical attention when the symptoms start and they don't wait until they get very bad. We've seen that many patients wait until their symptoms get severe during the peak of the pandemic. And this can lead to patients being admitted to the hospital, when this could have been prevented by seeking earlier medical attention.

How is Montefiore keeping heart patients safe in the era of COVID-19?

At Montefiore, we kept our patients safe during the height of the pandemic and we continue to do it now using our COVID safe care protocols, such as universal screening, patient treatment designated areas, rigorous cleaning and use of masks. Also if you have Montefiore MyChart you can pre-check into your visit.

How can I continue to see my doctor in the era of COVID-19?

It is very important that during these times you keep seeing your physician, either for your prevention visits or your treatment visits. This can be done at Montefiore on a safe way using video visits through the Montefiore FIRST app or telephone calls. Also you can come and see us in person with our promise to keep you safe using our COVID safe care protocols. If you have Montefiore MyChart you can also pre-check in to make your check-in faster.

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COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID‑19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals experiencing these symptoms or combination of symptoms may have COVID‑19:

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Cover Coughs

Cough

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Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Or at least two of the symptoms below:

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Fever

Fever

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Chills

Chills

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Repeated shaking with chills

Repeated shaking with chills

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Muscle Pain

Muscle pain

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Headache

Headache

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Sore Throat

Sore throat

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New loss of taste or smell

New loss of taste or smell

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Diarrhea

Diarrhea


This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Care doesn’t stop

To ensure the safety of all our patients, we’ve implemented rigorous COVID-SAFE Care protocols, tailored to each setting.

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Covid-safe Care

Your Gratitude Keeps Us Going

The current outpouring of appreciation for New York's healthcare workers has been truly humbling. Our community's grace and optimism in the face of hardship inspires us every day. To all those who have cheered and honored our heroes, and to the many who are giving to support our COVID-19 efforts, Montefiore-Einstein would like to thank you. To those who would like to show their support, here's how.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread by people in close contact (approximately within 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible to contract the virus by touching an infected surface or item and then touching the nose, eyes or mouth. The virus may be able to live on a surface for a prolonged period of time.

Protect Yourself
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Wash Hands
Wash hands frequently with soap
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Avoid Touching eyes and mouth
Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
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Seek Care
Seek care if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath
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Avoid Close Contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
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Distance
Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
Protect Others
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Stay Home
Stay home if you’re unwell
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Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover coughs and sneezes
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Clean and disinfect surfaces
Clean and disinfect surfaces
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Mask
Use a face covering when leaving the home for essentials
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Distance
Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet

Trusted Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The leading national public health institute of the United States
 

NY.gov

For the latest COVID-19 guidelines and information from New York State 

World Health Organization

UN agency responsible for international public health