Molly Watts, who is an intensive care nurse at Southampton Children’s Hospital, has written a book designed to help reduce the anxiety of children during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The short story focuses on Dave the Dog, who is worried about the spread of the deadly virus, but is supported by Nurse Dotty, who is a wise owl with truthful, sensitive information on the virus and how Dave can reduce his chances of getting or spreading it.
The paediatric nurse has expressed concern about the welfare of children during this health crisis, commenting:
Everything that is going on recently has gotten everyone talking and worrying of course and I keep thinking about the impact that this must be having on children.
She told Nursing Times that she felt compelled to write the story because healthcare professionals have a duty to provide ‘information without fear‘ during times of stress.
The book, which was written after a night shift at the hospital, which is an influential centre for specialist paediatric services in the south of England, is free to download online and has been accessed by more than 15,000 children, with some teachers distributing the story’s contents via email to parents.
Nurse @UHSFT @SotonChildHosp creates children's book to reduce #coronavirus anxiety – read more and download here https://t.co/7cnOGMPLXT #COVID19 #patientcare #NHSCovidHeroes pic.twitter.com/hTdj0H6YE1
— Southampton Children's Hospital (@SotonChildHosp) March 22, 2020
In the introduction to the book, Watts tells parents, ‘[w]ith everything that is going on at the moment; big changes to children’s routines and lots of stories on the news it can be a really scary time for children. This book aims to open up the conversation about coronavirus and some of the things they might be hearing about it and provide truthful information in a reassuring and child friendly manner‘.
To download the book, follow the link here.