Talking to Kids About COVID-19

Kids are curious, and you may be surprised to find they have lots of smart questions about COVID-19. With a high level of panic out in the world, it’s more important than ever to truthfully answer children’s questions while filtering out points of unneeded anxiety.

Here are some tips to make it a little easier to broach the subject of coronavirus with kids.

Start With the Facts

Since the whole world is talking about COVID-19, that can make it harder to find the right information about it. The CDC’s COVID-19 page or the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 page are great places to start for general facts about the disease, how it spreads, and how to properly guard against infection. You can go through these pages together with your children as a family activity. That way, children can ask questions, and you can find the answers together.

Let Children Guide

Children are bound to be curious about different aspects of the outbreak. Some may want to know how it spread so quickly, while others may be interested in what the disease looks like under a microscope. Let your children steer the conversation — it’ll help to keep them engaged, and you may just learn something new yourself!

Pay Attention to How You Respond

Children are incredibly observant, and they’ll pick up on the emotions you inject into the discussion, even if you aren’t aware of them yourself. Remember to stay calm and open-minded. Make yourself available for chats in a judgment-free environment.

Take Breaks

Getting overloaded can happen quickly. It’s vital to limit children’s time reading the news or researching the outbreak. With a constant stream of COVID-19 coverage, you can be sure it’s going to be there when you get back to it. It’s important for you to take a breather every now and again, too, so you can stay vigilant for those who need you the most. Pump the breaks when necessary, and play a game or make a craft instead.

The CDC also offers its own guide to talking to children about COVID-19. Find more tips there, and remember that we’re all in this together.