Free Comic Book E-Book Provided By Doctor To Help Children Cope With Home Recovery From Covid-19, Parenting & Education News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – What should parents do when their children test positive for Covid-19? How do they explain the home recovery program to their young children?

A free eBook that I can pick up at home! can help the little ones understand what the process will look like.

Written by acclaimed children’s author Emily Lim-Leh and illustrated by Josef Lee, the comic book style book also includes answers to frequently asked questions and helpful websites for parents.

Parents and caregivers can download it from Sunday November 14 to read it with children.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung shared the book on his Facebook, saying, “It’s a very good book. With the right resources and information, we can further demystify Covid-19 and its recovery process.”

The story follows the recovery journey of a little boy, including 10 days of isolation in his room, accompanied by his father. He is also looking at a girl who needs to be admitted to the hospital.

The 37-page eBook is the brainchild of Dr. Darryl Lim, a consulting pediatrician at the Kinder Clinic at Mount Alvernia Medical Center.

“While the website is a good resource, it may not appeal to the children we want to reassure and protect. I felt that a script with pictures would appeal to families and guide them through what to do. what to expect, ”said Dr Lim, 48, who has three children aged one, three and six.

Last month, Dr Lim launched a voluntary initiative with around 45 fellow pediatricians in private practice to provide free telemedicine consultations to children during the home recovery program. This alleviates the workload of healthcare workers in hospitals and reduces the waiting time for families for medical care.

Doctors saw 100 to 200 cases per day, including those on scheduled follow-up during the home recovery program, which is now the default case for children aged three to 11.

But a week after doctors began their rounds via WhatsApp video calls, they found that many parents were unsure of what recovery at home was all about. Some children were also concerned about going to the hospital for a physical exam when doctors felt it was necessary.

Some parents also thought the doctors were crooks, shares Dr Lim.

He hopes the e-book will allow his team of pediatricians to do their job, once parents and children know what to expect during home recovery and their telemedicine consultations.

The book is scheduled to be translated into Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Covid-19 infection in children

Dr Lim says some parents think Covid-19 infection is like the common cold. “This is true to some extent for most children, but we need to be alert to any complications that may arise,” he says.

“Some children have health issues that put them at a higher risk of having such complications. Again, it’s my team’s job to identify them and make sure they will be safe at at home or in the hospital. “

Worried parents have his empathy.

“The fear is real, of having lost loved ones to Covid-19 or of having someone in the household who has medical conditions that could predispose him to complications if he is infected with the coronavirus” said Dr Lim.

He advises parents not to focus only on their child’s physical recovery, but to pay attention to their psychological well-being as well.

“The period of isolation can be very difficult for the children, who are used to the routines, but these are now completely disrupted.”

Parents and caregivers can download the eBook from November 14, 2021 to read with children. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

While isolated in a room with a parent or caregiver, they also cannot interact with the rest of the family – as in the case of the little boy in the book, who misses his mother and younger sister. They get around it by arranging story time via video calls several times a day.

His mother left their meals outside the room. The boy and his father would count to five before opening the door to bring the food, so she would be safe then.

Dr Lim suggests eating a balanced diet. “Given the inactivity during prolonged isolation in a room, I would stress that I would like to avoid gorging on high calorie foods and sweets, as the calories regularly burned during an active child’s day would now be much more temperate, “he said.

“Most of us would remember the waistline increase during the blackout period last year, due to heavy inactivity at home.”

“Not a normal picture book”

It usually takes at least six to nine months to produce a ready-to-publish picture book. But author Lim-Leh and illustrator Lee came up with I Can Recover At Home! in a record three weeks.

The comic book style e-book is a guide for families and children with Covid-19.

“This is not a normal picture book and these are not normal times,” says Lim-Leh, 50, who has published 40 children’s books since 2007.

“It contains an urgent message, and Josef and I shared Darryl’s sense of urgency in wanting to get it into the hands of children and families quickly.”

The project was launched in mid-October, when she received a long WhatsApp message late at night from Dr Lim, her 10-year-old son’s former pediatrician.

He explained how scary it can be for young children to be taken to hospital in an ambulance for assessment and then be isolated in their room. He wanted to explain to them what is happening during the home recovery program.

She immediately thought of Lee, even though they had never collaborated before. “I followed his series of pandemic picture stories on Facebook and he is also a picture book maker. He felt like the right fit,” she says.

Like the pediatricians aboard Dr Lim’s voluntary initiative, both provided support and took charge of this pro bono project.

“This is probably the first time in my experience as an author that the illustrator drew at the same time as I was writing, rather than waiting for the manuscript to be entirely finished,” she adds.

Lee, a full-time creative director in a design and animation studio, describes the book as a “dream project.” This combined his interest in picture books and comics, and he could use his skills to contribute in this time of the pandemic.

Earlier in January, the 42-year-old launched the The House Of Mini Picture Books website so that children weren’t deprived of books to read even though libraries and bookstores were closed, as when the circuit breaker was on. ‘last year.

The site is home to 20 original children’s stories from Singaporean authors and artists that can be read online or downloaded, printed and made into picture books for free.

Lim-Leh and Lee worked closely with Dr Lim and his pediatric colleagues to obtain medical advice and guidance.

Doctors on the Volunteer Telemedicine Team approved the e-book.

Dr Ooi Pei Ling, who practices at the International Clinic for Children and Adolescents at Mount Alvernia Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital, said: “This is a clear and concise guide for parents and children affected by Covid- 19 and will help significantly relieve their anxiety. “

Dr Agnes Tay of the International Baby Child and Adolescent Clinic in Ang Mo Kio, adds, “The eBook is easy to read, but includes specific facts and practical details. This delightful work of art struck me with its clarity and message of hope. and the assurance that all will be well. It really is a labor of love. “

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