March 26, 2020, 5:25 a.m.

Talking To Children About Coronavirus

Corona virus / COVID-19 makes people sick and shows flu-like symptoms such as cough or fever or trouble while breathing. As experts are still doing their part in knowing as much as possible about this pandemic, there isn’t much information available about how this affects children. There are also fewer cases reported about children. However, studies are suggesting that babies/ children catch milder symptoms of fever, cough, fatigue, nausea etc. as compared to adults/ senior citizens. 
 
Now the question that arises is – How do we explain this to our children? 

We are all aware that children sense our feelings and emotions. In this time of Corona Virus, it is essential that you stay calm and not worry/stress your children more than they already are. What Is important is, talk to them about it! 
 
  • Most children have probably already seen people wearing masks/heard parents or family members talk about this or stay at home more than usual. So not talking about why all this is happening might make them worry which they could project in different ways. Your end-goal is to make sure your child is aware of what is happening in very basic terms and feels re-assured about his/her safety. 
  • Stick to a routine. Children feel uncomfortable when they sense uncertainty. Especially when school or other things part of your child’s daily routine are shut for the time being. Decide on a bedtime, mealtimes, play time etc. so 
  • It is but-natural that you want your child to be safe but do not give them more information than they require. Answer questions that they ask you but do not give them information that will make them feel uneasy. (For ex: tell them why their schools are currently closed or why people are wearing masks if they ask) 
  • Talk in a calm and reassuring voice. Not only will this help them feel calmer but will also give them the space to open up and share their fears or ask any questions. 
Using social stories are also a great way to get essential information across to your children!