With the virus that causes COVID-19 still active in the U.S., your children may be hearing a lot about the pandemic from TV or the internet. And some of what they hear may frighten them.
That's understandable. But you can help calm any concerns your children have by talking with them about COVID-19.
Here are some tips, courtesy of the National Association of School Nurses and other medical experts, for chatting with children:
Let them know they can ask about COVID-19. But don't force conversations.
Be honest, calm and reassuring. We're all concerned about the potential risks of COVID-19 and it's fine to acknowledge that. But if you panic, your kids will too. Reassure them that many adults are working hard to keep them safe. Younger ones, especially, may need to hear that from you.
Fight fear with facts. For instance, you can share with your kids, in age-appropriate terms they can understand, that:
Tell them how to stay healthy. Knowing how they can help prevent COVID-19 may help your kids feel less anxious. Here are some of the best ways to do that:
Be prepared to right any rumors, xenophobia and blame
As COVID-19 has spread around the globe, so have myths and misplaced blame.
Listen to your child's concerns about COVID-19 and correct any confusion. You can find accurate and current info at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
Sadly, some people may say wrong and hurtful things, like blaming groups of people or their products for the virus. If other people say such things, talk to your children about why you feel those things are wrong to say. Remind your kids not to spread rumors.
Just be there for them
It's always important to give your children lots of love and attention, but they may need a little more of it now. Try these kid-approved activities.