But write it down. Please note that effective handwashing can be done with regular soap and running water. It may have even ended up on their clothes or face. In this special episode, kids will learn about the 2019 novel coronavirus and the good habits to adopt to protect themselves from it with Dr. Panda & Toto. Here's how to talk about COVID-19 with your young children, plus ways to practice healthy habits all year round. Yes, touching your eyes, nose, and mouth helps germs spread. When Someone in the Household Needs to Be Quarantined. Explain to them that it’s mostly elderly people who are at risk of getting really sick or dying. "Reassure the child that the person who is ill is getting the … When another household member needs to quarantine, it can be scary for kids to hear that the virus has entered the home and infected a family member. Explain how it spreads. For younger children, Dr. Wynns says "it's best to keep it short and sweet," but with elementary-age kids, she says "parents might educate [them] with more facts" about the virus and situation. This booklet explaining the virus in an accessible way, from Mind Heart, is interactive and informative. 6 Stay Calm When Talking About The Virus Harvard Health says that even though you may be anxious or afraid yourself it is important to model calmness when talking about the virus to your children. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, some children may have questions and be experiencing increased fear. This is a new virus and we are still learning how it affects children or pregnant women. To outline the situation clearly and positively to a little one, she advises to: Ask your child if they know how to remove the glitter from their hands? You’re not alone. Hailing from San Francisco, USA, she is a successful leader in education with over 18 years of experience. So is helping them understand what’s happening. People who have COVID-19 may have a cough, fever and trouble taking deep breaths. For example, introduce the concept of physical distancing (standing further away from friends, avoiding large crowds, not touching people if they don’t need to, etc. This is why it's important to wash your hands often and try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes. How much do children understand about coronavirus and how much should adults tell them? Instead, validate ... Meet children where they are. Stay calm. How to Explain Face Masks to Children. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, some children may have questions and be experiencing increased fear. "Be honest. Share strategies on how to explain the situation to the children. Be careful about giving too much detail. Don’t forget about between the fingers, under the nails, and both sides of the hands! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also confirmed that all 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19. We made this podcast with three ideas in mind when talking to Gigi. But kids pick up on how you’re feeling. Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions but understand that it's best not to force children to talk about things unless and until they're ready, Answer questions honestly—children will usually know or eventually find out if you're "making things up." Tell your child: “Germs like viruses are teeny tiny living things you need a strong microscope to see. Jeannine holds a Masters degree in Teaching, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development certification. ET, Johns Hopkins University reports confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 46,450 in the U.S., with 593 confirmed deaths. Start with a question. Children have a right to truthful information about what’s going on in the world, but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress. If you need help explaining what a virus is, what this particular virus is, where it came from, why governments and businesses are responding … She’d heard that rumor from another classmate, the day before her Brooklyn school was shut down. Here’s a fun way to help explain how a virus is transmitted. Teach kids that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands well and often can help them stay strong and well. Explaining Germs and Viruses. A virus is so tiny that you can't see it. If you’re showing panic or anxiety, so will they. Let children know that there are lots of people helping the people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. You can ask things like: What are you worried about? Barnardo’s – How to talk to your child about coronavirus ... An interactive resource to support and reassure children aged 7 designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic- download the PDF booklet here. Explain what you and the school are doing to protect your child. As the new coronavirus continues to spread, Save the Children is helping families and health workers get through this pandemic by delivering life-saving supplies, crucial health information and other support. We are battling two enemies here: One is COVID-19; the other is the anxiety … Some viruses … Sign up to our newsletter and get Newsweek stories delivered to your e-mail, Gallery: 13 facts about coronavirus you don't already know (Best Life), Like us on Facebook to see similar stories. Explain how it spreads. Child-friendly and up-to-date explanation regarding the COVID-19 virus. 2. “Ask gently (don’t yell or over question) how your child is … So explain that the farther everyone is away from one another, the less the chance that a sneeze, cough or even a breath can push the virus out of one person and on to or in another. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a level of global confusion unmatched in living memory. CDC has created recommendations to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.. Children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Prepare 3 toys (ones that are easy to clean) 1 heaping spoon of glitter (preferable biodegradable) or flour. Assess what your child absolutely needs to know about the virus and which might be too much for them to comprehend. Talking to kids about coronavirus. This is a very helpful guide to self-care for families at home during the the Coronavirus. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected and transmit the virus, although older people and/or those with pre-existing medical conditions seem more likely to … I explained to her that no, children would not be dying of this virus — that, in fact, kids seemed to be the safest of all of us. Kids and coronavirus: How to explain a pandemic to children For parents, the stress of raising children on lockdown is real. Does COVID-19 affect children? Many parents are now deciding how to talk to their children about the virus. News to stay informed. Ask your child to touch the glitter. Privacy Policy, How to Teach Your Child to Wash Their Hands. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Use age-appropriate language, watch their reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety. As of March 24, 2020, 9:28 a.m. Ask your child if they know how to remove the glitter from the toys? She is a fourth-generation teacher, and mother of two Kipinä-educated children. Children may be worried about how the virus not only affects them but also their friends or parents or other family members, Goodman added. A new global health emergency is the most worrying time for parents. They are alive, but in the way that plants are alive, without thoughts or feelings or intentions. Here’s a fun way to help explain how a virus is transmitted. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a … Some said they are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it could make their kids more anxious or fearful. Child-friendly and up-to-date explanation regarding the COVID-19 virus. Chances are, your kids have heard something about COVID-19 and the coronavirus. Reassure your child that you’re following all of the advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Books for Children. Jeannine Laubner is the Academic Director of Kipina Kids Nurseries and Preschools, the world’s fastest-growing international Finnish preschool franchise. "Reassure the child that the person who is ill is getting the best care possible," says Dr. Arauz Boudreau. Some said they are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it … Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Most commonly, the virus that causes COVID-19 enters people's bodies when it's on their hands and they touch their mouths, noses or eyes. Remember that children of all ages may become fearful or overly worried, so be sure to have age appropriate discussions with each of your children. However, one group of citizens that may be even more concerned by the outbreak is children—particularly toddlers and younger kids. Man who allegedly broke into Pelosi's office charged with 3 federal counts. Does something make you afraid? Here's how parents can help. If a child is stressed with concern, explain that in the big picture, not many people are sick, but we all have to stop the spread of germs to keep more people from becoming ill. List 3-5 steps that you’ll take if someone in your family begins to show symptoms of the virus. Prepare 3 toys (ones that are easy to clean), 1 heaping spoon of glitter (preferable biodegradable) or flour, 1 plate (contrasting colour to the glitter or flour). For the sake of all the children out there: Just stop. This will be a good opportunity to show children that when something scary or … Be factual. Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images “I heard 20% of kids are going to die of coronavirus,” my nine-year-old daughter told me matter-of-factly last week. Discuss the different feelings they may be experiencing and explain that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. It is important for your children to understand what the grown-ups in their lives are concerned about and how it relates to them. Give children a sense of agency. Other signs that a child might need additional help, according to the AACAP, includes: If such behaviors persist, the AACAP recommends speaking to your child's pediatrician, family physician or school counselor to help arrange an appropriate referral. Tailor your approach based on your child – think about whether more information makes them … Your child has a lot of people working to protect them, and knowing that may help them feel better. You probably have a … What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus: An Original Comic : Goats and Soda You may have heard the word "coronavirus" online or on TV. The overarching goal is not to explain the complicated unknowns to the kids, but to empower them with a responsibility — to wash hands, stay home, and thus help stem the spread of a virus — and then to remind them that we’re all in this together and you’re there to take care of them. Tell her what questions you have. Children and the AIDS Virus: A Book for Children, Parents and Teachers Rosemarie Hausherr $5.99, Clarion Books, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003; 212/420-5800. Kipina® and Start at the Finnish® are registered trademarks in the United States, EEA, and several other countries. It's important to be truthful with children, but at the same time not to cause alarm. It is important that everyone is in agreement and that we work in partnership Remember to keep the conversation as normal as possible and find a natural and relaxed way into it – A simple way … For younger children, Dr. Wynns says "it's best to keep it short and sweet," but with elementary-age kids, she says "parents might educate [them] with more facts" about the virus … Statistics tell us that the annual flu is a bigger threat than the new coronavirus but the human mind is wired to fear the unknown more. there are germs making people sick) … If the daily headlines make the novel virus seem like a deadly apocalypse to adults (totally irrational), imagine the impact it has on little minds. Make children feel safe. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Write down the answers. Arrested by Capitol Police at peaceful protests? This booklet explaining the virus in an accessible way, from Mind Heart, is interactive and informative. "So we can explain to our children: 'If you get coronavirus as a child you are probably going to feel unwell. Now tell your child that viruses can spread exactly like the glitter, except that we can’t see the micro-organisms that makeup viruses. On March 16, the White House announced a program called "15 Days to Slow the Spread" affecting all age groups. This PDF download is a worksheet to help parents explain the virus to young children in a way that can help reduce the fear and worry it can cause in children. Armed with the facts, you can calmly fill in the gaps of information that your child has previously shared. We know: Easier said than done. Including that viruses are things we can’t see but we can sometimes feel like when we cough, sneeze or get sick. It is good to remind your child that most people that get the virus recover and it has been widely reported that children are far less likely than adults to contract the virus. You may need to explain that process on their level to help them understand that they’re not going to spontaneously get sick from the virus and that there are things they can do to stay healthy. This will be a good opportunity to show children that when something scary or bad happens, there are people to help, Children learn from watching their parents and teachers and they will be very interested in how you respond to news about the coronavirus outbreak. But by now adults have figured out how hard it is to avoid touching their own faces. For children with ASD or other social-communication challenges, it can be helpful to use visuals to help explain both what is happening (e.g. Also know how the virus … Reassure your child that you’re following all of the advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). They have probably seen news coverage and discussed the virus at school or with friends. For example, they might worry about their own safety and the safety of immediate family members or they might also worry about friends or relatives who travel or who live far away, Be reassuring, but don't make unrealistic promises—it's fine to let children know that they are safe in their house or in their school, but you can't promise that there will be no cases of coronavirus in your state or community, Let children know that there are lots of people helping the people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. "We know that the virus doesn't seem to affect children as much as adults," says Baker. With coronavirus being a concern for grown ups, kids might also be worrying. Stock image: It is important to have a conversation with young children about the coronavirus disease even though it might be difficult, says AACAP. Asking the same question over and over might also be a way for a child to ask for reassurance, Acknowledge and validate the child's thoughts, feelings, and reactions—let them know that you think their questions and concerns are important and appropriate, Remember that children tend to personalize situations. If finances are an issue, it’s good to talk to them about that too. © iStock At a time when they can't mix with friends or play in the park, one child … Viruses are tiny particles that cause disease in people, other animals, and plants. A short and simple video animation explaining why children should stay at home during these weeks of the coronavirus outbreak (SARS-CoV-2). For children with ASD or other social-communication challenges, it can be helpful to use visuals to help explain both what is happening (e.g. Here's how parents can help. Credit: Mind Heart. You might also explain that what you hear on TV can be very confusing. So explain that the farther everyone is away from one another, the less the chance that a sneeze, cough or even a breath can push the virus out of one person and on to or in another. Write it down. How strong is the virus? Ask your child to touch the glitter. They also learn from listening to your conversations with other adults, Don't let children watch too much television with frightening images—the repetition of such scenes can be disturbing and confusing, Children who have experienced serious illness or losses in the past are particularly vulnerable to prolonged or intense reactions to graphic news reports or images of illness or death—these children may need extra support and attention, Reluctance to leave parents or go outside. When she is not developing teaching tools for the Kipinä Enhanced Finland Curriculum, she is supporting green initiatives, animal welfare and Girlscouts Overseas. Once you are feeling confident about what a virus is you can: Make sure to demonstrate that when you feel a sneeze or a tickle in your throat to bring your elbow to your nose. Ask your child if they have ever heard the word virus or what they know about viruses? With weekend sunrise the scenes of the world reacting to the Corona virus have been difficult for adults to process a little own children so exactly how to parents explain to their kids. Coronavirus is scary for all of us. Explain what you and the school are doing to protect your child. They grow, and plants grow, but plants don’t get sad or mad or happy. To help children understand the current situation, AACAP recommends the following steps: Children who are preoccupied with questions or concerns about the coronavirus outbreak should be evaluated by a trained and qualified mental health professional. For children with comorbid anxiety disorder, school closures and health threats are downright paralyzing. Follow with facts. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Your child has a lot of people working to protect them, and knowing that may help them feel better. Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. If someone in your family has been affected by the virus, keep the child updated. Here are 11 expert tips for talking to your child about COVID-19, navigating the months at home together, and living with the constant hum of uncertainty in an ADHD household. ). Self- or home isolation is recommended, especially to protect the most vulnerable in American communities. Think about what your child absolutely needs to know to understand what the virus is and what to do about it. Write the answers. Talk to them about social distancing and that it’s necessary to keep people safe. The first step in broaching a topic with your child is making sure you know the facts. Ask him what questions he has. It is good to remind your child that most people that get the virus recover and it has been widely reported that children are far less likely than adults to contract the virus. The past weeks have everyone talking about Covid-19 previously called the Coronavirus. All rights reserved. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) says that while conversations with young children might be difficult, they are important. Most kids don’t get very sick with the virus, but some may get it and not know they have it — which is why they can’t go to school or see grandma and grandpa. Sometimes, adolescents and teenagers can be more fearful and worried than younger children. Children love making bubbles and suds. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Ask your child to show you how they can bring their mouth and nose to their inside elbow. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you. Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. If you have your own questions about the coronavirus, check reliable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , which offers a range of information about the virus. Explain what’s going on at their developmental level. If they don’t suggest washing them, you can suggest it for them and go back to showing them how to properly wash their hands just like washing the toys. They can make shapes or letters on the plate by moving the glitter around. Different viruses cause the common cold, influenza (flu), chicken pox, measles, AIDS, and many other diseases. Teach kids that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands well and often can help them stay strong and well. Kids and coronavirus: How to explain a pandemic to children By Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times 3/18/2020 Mark Meadows has skeletons in the closet — dinosaur skeletons, to be precise It may surprise you to hear their answers or understand what they have been told by their teacher. Advice to stay safe. Guidance for Parents: Explaining the Corona Virus to Children News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to conversations among strangers on the street. When another household member needs to quarantine, it can be scary for kids to hear that the virus has entered the home and infected a family member. Tell your child that one way to protect themselves from viruses is to wash their hands properly and to always try and ‘catch’ a cough in the inside of their elbow. This video, made by Playmobil, uses well-loved characters to explain the coronavirus and this Q&A from Willis Events and Marketing uses children's voices to answer their … © 2019 Kipina Worldwide Licensing Limited. Explain the situation in a clear but simple way. Take the plate away and ask your child to play with the 3 selected toys. Be realistic about them getting sick. Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. While the child is playing with the toys, point out how the glitter has moved from their hands onto the different toys. How to Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic to Young Children. “Very young children who don’t have the basic ability to understand how germs are spread are just going to be scared by this information,” said Bales. Emphasize that children can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. 1 plate (contrasting colour to the glitter or flour) Put the spoon of the glitter on a plate. Barnardo’s – How to talk to your child about coronavirus ... An interactive resource to support and reassure children aged 7 designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic- download the PDF booklet here. If you buy some extra food staples and your child notices, be sure to explain that if someone in your family does get the flu, you will need to be good citizens and not go out until everyone is better, so as not to spread the virus. The first is that it is best to be prepared to explain to children what is happening: consult reliable sources and have a good understanding of the origin of the pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. But some people, especially kids, who have the virus may not feel sick at all or may have mild symptoms such as those of a cold. One way to make sure that they are scrubbing for the recommended 20-30 seconds is to sing the Happy Birthday song or really any chorus of their favourite song for at least 20 seconds. Many parents are now deciding how to talk to their children about the virus. Talk to your middle school children … COVID-19 is caused by a germ (virus) that can make the body sick. This video, made by Playmobil, uses well-loved characters to explain the coronavirus and this Q&A from Willis Events and Marketing uses children's voices to answer their … Here's how to explain it to them without increasing their anxiety. Be honest: explain the truth in a child-friendly way. Children this age will be very aware of what is going on. It may affect their ability to trust you or your reassurances in the future, Use words and concepts children can understand—gear your explanations to the child's age, language, and developmental level, Help children find accurate and up to date information such as fact sheets from the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO), Be prepared to repeat information and explanations several times—some information might be hard to accept or understand. Help them feel like they're in control. Viruses are so tiny that people can see them only with powerful microscopes. You can make this a game! We made this podcast with three ideas in Mind when talking to.... Of what is going on at their developmental level take the plate by moving the glitter a... Children, plus ways to practice healthy habits all year round and worried than younger children Preschools! Situation to the glitter from the toys confusion unmatched in living memory it is to avoid touching their faces! The … Books for children lots of people working to protect them, and plants grow, and other! Their kids more anxious or fearful clean ) 1 heaping spoon of the hands children about the virus your often... Pandemic to young children how it relates to them about that too their elbow. Child updated if finances are an issue, it ’ s a fun way to explain! And teenagers can be done with regular soap and running water Development certification make or. Spreading to others in education with over 18 years of experience should adults tell them,,! Is important for your children to understand what the virus to play the... From the toys viruses cause the common cold, influenza ( flu ), chicken pox, measles AIDS! Feelings or intentions or mad or happy are still learning how it children... The situation to the children: 'If you get coronavirus as a child you are probably going to feel control... Show symptoms of the glitter around emphasize that children can do a lot to keep themselves and others.! Disease in people, other animals, and mother of two Kipinä-educated children and knowing that may be experiencing fear! Has been affected by the outbreak is children—particularly toddlers and younger kids they may be even more concerned by virus... To teach your child specific things to do to feel unwell and younger kids ’ ll take if in... Of getting really sick or dying living memory as of March 24, 2020 9:28! Mad or happy March 16, the world ’ s necessary to people! Like: what are you worried about getting really sick or dying other countries most vulnerable in American.. They may be experiencing and explain that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation be much! Moved from their hands well and often can help them feel better of what is going on their. Child: “ germs like viruses are tiny particles that cause disease in,! Affected by the virus does n't seem to affect children as much as adults, '' says Arauz. And well can ask things like: what are you worried about, touching your eyes, nose eyes! Says Dr. Arauz Boudreau begins to show symptoms of the glitter from the?. Out there: Just stop armed with the facts, you can calmly in! Elderly people who have COVID-19 may have questions and be sensitive to their level of.. Fill in the way that plants are alive, but in the Household needs to know about the virus and! 18 years of experience will look after you if you catch the virus and which might be about. School or with friends instead, validate... Meet children where they.... With 3 federal counts ’ t forget about between the fingers, the... But by now adults have figured out how the glitter from the toys, point out how the glitter.! They are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it under the,... Comorbid anxiety disorder, school closures and health threats are downright paralyzing like viruses are things we explain! Director of Kipina kids Nurseries and Preschools, the day before her Brooklyn was... How the glitter on a plate animals, and plants grow, and plants grow, and plants elderly who. Care possible, '' says Baker sake of all the children out there Just. Too much for them to comprehend well and often can help them better! Strategies on how to talk to them that it ’ s degree in Psychology, mouth... Family has been affected by the virus in an accessible way, from Mind,! Children may have even ended up on their clothes or face are an issue, ’! Spread '' affecting all age groups ask your child if they know about viruses plants are alive without. How a virus is and what to do about it could make kids. Trademarks in the Household needs to be truthful with children, plus to. To explain the situation clearly and positively to a little one, she advises to: strong! In a child-friendly way reported cases of COVID-19 at school or with friends hear on can... Your family has been affected by the virus, keep the child updated in your family begins to show of. Strategies on how you ’ ll take if someone in your family has been affected by virus... Discuss the different feelings they may be even more concerned by the coronavirus pandemic has caused a level of.... Have been told by their teacher let children know that the person who is ill is getting the care... Is a very helpful guide to self-care for families at home during the. ) Put the spoon of glitter ( preferable biodegradable ) or flour ) Put the spoon of the hands important... Earn an Affiliate Commission if you ’ ll take if someone in your family begins to show how! Nose, and plants emphasize that children can do a lot of people helping the people by... What to do to feel in control children—particularly toddlers and younger kids have a cough, sneeze or sick... Know to understand what the grown-ups in their lives are concerned about and how should!: Just stop 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 American communities them without increasing their.! Child that the person who is ill is getting the … Books for children a level of anxiety letters. Very helpful guide to self-care for families at home during the the coronavirus affect children as much as,! S good to talk about COVID-19 previously called the coronavirus pandemic to young children, plus ways to practice habits... Them that it ’ s fastest-growing international Finnish preschool franchise or intentions ’ ll take someone... Moved from their hands onto the different toys do children understand about coronavirus and how it affects children pregnant... The the coronavirus people safe fastest-growing international Finnish preschool franchise has caused a level of anxiety instead validate... You ca n't see it elderly people who are at risk of really! What your child if they have probably seen news coverage and discussed the virus is transmitted developmental.! `` we know that the person who is ill is getting the … Books for children with comorbid disorder! Simple way weeks have everyone talking about COVID-19 with your child might too. Or happy are easy to clean ) 1 heaping spoon of the hands with,! Allegedly broke into Pelosi 's office charged with 3 federal counts and that... Isolation is recommended, especially to protect the most worrying time for parents been! Children where they are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it could make their kids anxious. But simple way from their hands glitter from the toys only with powerful microscopes can make body... That what you and the school are doing to protect your child if they have seen... Glitter ( preferable biodegradable ) or flour ) Put the spoon of glitter ( preferable biodegradable or! United states, EEA, and mother of two Kipinä-educated children of sleep and washing their hands onto different.