A lot of the news about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) sounds scary. It’s also confusing and changes rapidly. Understandably, your kids might have some questions. Below, you’ll find a round-up of articles that contain good advice for answering those questions, easing some of your children’s (and your!) anxiety about the virus, and keeping your family safe and healthy.
Talking to Kids About Coronavirus
Child Mind Institute
According to the experts at the Child Mind Institute, kids will worry more if you keep them in the dark. I wholeheartedly agree. They say that your kids have almost certainly heard about it already, so you shouldn’t be afraid to discuss it with them. Here are their tips for talking about the virus in a developmentally appropriate manner. Read.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
As you all know, my background is in public health. Because of that experience, I’ve learned that one of the first places you go to find reliable and accurate health information is CDC. They have some advice for talking to your kids in a calm and reassuring way, and listening to their fears as well. Read.
In addition, CDC has a webpage dedicated to sharing accurate, up-to-date information about the virus and things you can do to prevent its spread. Read.
A Rose Tinted World
Jo is a 48-year-old mom in the U.K.. She has a great blog called A Rose Tinted World, and she’s written a pretty level-headed blog post about talking to her own 4-year-old child about Coronavirus. You’ll find some sound advice here. Read.
National Public Radio (NPR)
NPR has published a creative comic strip that helps explain Coronavirus to kids in terms they can understand. It’s based on a radio story told by NPR journalist, Cory Turner. You can read this directly to your children and show them the pictures. Read.
Amy Ettinger is a mother who lives about 70 miles from San Francisco, where the government has declared a State of Emergency due to Coronavirus. She says that talking to kids about this outbreak is tricky, as it’s important to both state the true facts and relieve anxiety. This article explains how she handled the conversation with her own kids. Read.
Looking for some expert advice? This article delivers the expertise of an RN and an MD. It explains the reasons it’s important to discuss this virus with your children, the common fears or worries children might have, and the safety measures parents should discuss with them. Read.
Mom and writer, Michelle Hainer, says she hasn’t started panicking about the novel Coronavirus just yet, but she is taking precautions to keep her family healthy, including putting the breaks on planning a trip to Disney. For this article, she interviewed some experts and wrote some great advice for having this conversation with your kids that includes actively listening to your children, sharing your own concerns, and other great tips. Read.