Talking with Your Child About the Coronavirus

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Helpful information on talking with your child about the coronavirus.

This is a difficult time for all of us and for children especially as they see their routine changing drastically. The Center for Disease Control has provided suggestions on how to talk to you child about the Coronavirus.  While it is hard for toddlers in particular to understand, the following suggestions may help your whole family manage through this challenging time.

Some general suggestions when talking to your child about the Coronavirus:

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.

You can teach children everyday actions that they can practice helping your whole family stay health!

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Get children into a hand washing habit.
  • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Counting to 20 or singing their favorite song or rhyme can be a great way to get them truly engaged! This is important especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.  
  • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol.


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