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. 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. Coronavirus is scary for all of us. 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. Explain what you and the school are doing to protect your child. 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. How much do children understand about coronavirus and how much should adults tell them? Be honest: explain the truth in a child-friendly way. "So we can explain to our children: 'If you get coronavirus as a child you are probably going to feel unwell. 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. But kids pick up on how you’re feeling. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, some children may have questions and be experiencing increased fear. 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. At a time when they can't mix with friends or play in the park, one child … Hailing from San Francisco, USA, she is a successful leader in education with over 18 years of experience. You probably have a … A new global health emergency is the most worrying time for parents. © 2019 Kipina Worldwide Licensing Limited. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a level of global confusion unmatched in living memory. But by now adults have figured out how hard it is to avoid touching their own faces. For the sake of all the children out there: Just stop. Emphasize that children can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. Chances are, your kids have heard something about COVID-19 and the coronavirus. 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. They have probably seen news coverage and discussed the virus at school or with friends. "Reassure the child that the person who is ill is getting the … 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. We know: Easier said than done. 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. Some said they are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it could make their kids more anxious or fearful. We made this podcast with three ideas in mind when talking to Gigi. Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. Ask your child if they know how to remove the glitter from their hands? "Reassure the child that the person who is ill is getting the best care possible," says Dr. Arauz Boudreau. 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). Tailor your approach based on your child – think about whether more information makes them … 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. 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. This booklet explaining the virus in an accessible way, from Mind Heart, is interactive and informative. How to Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic to Young Children. "We know that the virus doesn't seem to affect children as much as adults," says Baker. Help them feel like they're in control. 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. It is important for your children to understand what the grown-ups in their lives are concerned about and how it relates to them. Does something make you afraid? 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. COVID-19 is caused by a germ (virus) that can make the body sick. Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. 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). Child-friendly and up-to-date explanation regarding the COVID-19 virus. Explain what you and the school are doing to protect your child. 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. 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 booklet explaining the virus in an accessible way, from Mind Heart, is interactive and informative. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. 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 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. 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. Explain the situation in a clear but simple way. “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. 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. You can make this a game! Share strategies on how to explain the situation to the children. When Someone in the Household Needs to Be Quarantined. 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. Write it down. "Be honest. “Ask gently (don’t yell or over question) how your child is … 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. © iStock Now tell your child that viruses can spread exactly like the glitter, except that we can’t see the micro-organisms that makeup viruses. 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 … Let children know that there are lots of people helping the people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. 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 … Some said they are checking in daily, while others worry talking about it … 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. 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. Yes, touching your eyes, nose, and mouth helps germs spread. Ask your child to touch the glitter. 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. A virus is so tiny that you can't see it. Children this age will be very aware of what is going on. 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. Prepare 3 toys (ones that are easy to clean) 1 heaping spoon of glitter (preferable biodegradable) or flour. Ask your child to touch the glitter. Here's how parents can help. She’d heard that rumor from another classmate, the day before her Brooklyn school was shut down. 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. However, one group of citizens that may be even more concerned by the outbreak is children—particularly toddlers and younger kids. They are alive, but in the way that plants are alive, without thoughts or feelings or intentions. 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. Your child has a lot of people working to protect them, and knowing that may help them feel better. Explain how it spreads. Armed with the facts, you can calmly fill in the gaps of information that your child has previously shared. On March 16, the White House announced a program called "15 Days to Slow the Spread" affecting all age groups. You can ask things like: What are you worried about? Viruses are so tiny that people can see them only with powerful microscopes. 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. Arrested by Capitol Police at peaceful protests? 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. Assess what your child absolutely needs to know about the virus and which might be too much for them to comprehend. While the child is playing with the toys, point out how the glitter has moved from their hands onto the different toys. 2. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) says that while conversations with young children might be difficult, they are important. 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. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, some children may have questions and be experiencing increased fear. 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. Books for Children. Advice to stay safe. 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. Self- or home isolation is recommended, especially to protect the most vulnerable in American communities. Viruses are tiny particles that cause disease in people, other animals, and plants. Different viruses cause the common cold, influenza (flu), chicken pox, measles, AIDS, and many other diseases. Ask him what questions he has. 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. Including that viruses are things we can’t see but we can sometimes feel like when we cough, sneeze or get sick. This is a new virus and we are still learning how it affects children or pregnant women. Here’s a fun way to help explain how a virus is transmitted. Explain how it spreads. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. 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." People who have COVID-19 may have a cough, fever and trouble taking deep breaths. 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. Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. They grow, and plants grow, but plants don’t get sad or mad or happy. Take the plate away and ask your child to play with the 3 selected toys. Some viruses … Here's how to explain it to them without increasing their anxiety. Write the answers. 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 … Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. She is a fourth-generation teacher, and mother of two Kipinä-educated children. All rights reserved. If you need help explaining what a virus is, what this particular virus is, where it came from, why governments and businesses are responding … The first step in broaching a topic with your child is making sure you know the facts. They can make shapes or letters on the plate by moving the glitter around. 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. Ask your child if they have ever heard the word virus or what they know about viruses? Here's how parents can help. 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. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Explain to them that it’s mostly elderly people who are at risk of getting really sick or dying. 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. For children with comorbid anxiety disorder, school closures and health threats are downright paralyzing. 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 … Many parents are now deciding how to talk to their children about the virus. Sometimes, adolescents and teenagers can be more fearful and worried than younger children. If finances are an issue, it’s good to talk to them about that too. Talking to kids about coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also confirmed that all 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19. How to Explain Face Masks to Children. Children love making bubbles and suds. 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 … there are germs making people sick) … Many parents are now deciding how to talk to their children about the virus. Ask your child to show you how they can bring their mouth and nose to their inside elbow. Don’t forget about between the fingers, under the nails, and both sides of the hands! When she is not developing teaching tools for the Kipinä Enhanced Finland Curriculum, she is supporting green initiatives, animal welfare and Girlscouts Overseas. So is helping them understand what’s happening. Jeannine holds a Masters degree in Teaching, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development certification. Be realistic about them getting sick. News to stay informed. Ask your child if they know how to remove the glitter from the toys? 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. 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