Coronavirus Can Get Children Worried: Here's How To Have The Talk

Corona Conversations

Corona Conversations

In the wake of coronavirus, several schools and colleges have been shut in many parts of the world to contain the spread of COVID-19. As public awareness and conversations around the novel virus increase, the situation can get the children anxious and worried for their family members and friends.

Parents, family members, teachers, healthcare professionals and trusted adults play a significant role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate and minimise their fear or anxiety.

Dr Sreenath Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatologist & HOD Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore shares a few tips to help make the corona conversation easier around children.

General Principles While Talking To Kids

General Principles While Talking To Kids

- Remember that children react to how and what things are said

- Children pick up cues from conversations you have with them and others

- Patiently listen to what they say, and allow them to ask questions

- Avoid using words that might blame others and lead to stigma

- Remember that the virus can make anyone sick. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19

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

- Reduce the amount of screen time for children focused on COVID-19. Too much information on any one topic can lead to anxiety and worry

- Provide information to kids that is honest and accurate. Give information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child

- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information

- Teach chilren everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs

- Stay calm and keep information simple

- Reassure children that health and school authorities are working very hard to keep everyone safe and healthy

- Teach dos and don'ts at home, schools and play areas



- Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and then throw the tissue into a closed bin

- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing nose, coughing or sneezing, after using restroom, and before eating or learning to prepare food

- If soap and water are not available, teach children to use hand sanitiser



- Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes and face with unclean hands

- Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands

- Avoid crowded places

- Avoid touching surfaces in public places and play areas unnecessarily

Points For Discussions About COVID-19

Points For Discussions About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

- COVID-19 is the short name for 'coronavirus disease 2019'

- It is a new virus. Doctors are still learning more about it

- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick

- Doctors and scientists think that most people will be alright, especially kids, but some people might get very sick

- Doctors and experts are working hard to help people stay healthy

What Can I Do To Not Contract COVID-19?

What Can I Do To Not Contract COVID-19?

- Practice healthy habits at home, school and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the dustbin right away

- Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body

- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitiser to clean the germs

- Keep things clean and hygienic

- If you have cough & fever, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either

- If you are old enough, you can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most like desks, doorknobs, light switches and remote controls

What Happens If I Get COVID-19?

What Happens If I Get COVID-19?

- COVID-19 can look different in different people. From what doctors have seen so far, most kids don’t seem to get very sick

- Being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. Children may get a fever, cough or have a hard time taking deep breaths

- Most people who have contracted COVID-19 don't get very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems

- If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call Government of India helpline +91-11-23978046 or contact nearest healthcare facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them


Popular Categories

Other useful Links

Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service