COVID-19 Tips & Guidelines for Parents

How to Talk About Coronavirus With Kids

People getting sick, schools closing, and news about the coronavirus can be scary and confusing for kids—especially for younger kids. Learn more by reading Understood.org’s article How to Talk About Coronavirus with Kids. Understood.org is a web resource for parents of kids with learning and attention issues. 

Tips for Families: Coronavirus

The following resources from the website ZERO to THREE offer tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing. Latest Resources.

General COVID-19 Guidelines

From the Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health (PA-AIMH).

General COVID-19 Guidelines from the Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health (PA-AIMH)

  • It is important to keep in mind that comparatively few children have tested positive for the virus, and deaths in children are very rare. From Science Alert – What is Children’s risk For Cornonavirus?
  • Let children know that for most people, the Corona virus is like a regular cold, and they get better quickly when they get the proper care. Young children are really safer. People who have other illnesses and older people have a greater risk of getting sicker with Coronavirus. Less than 1% of all cases in the world are in children below the age of 9.
  • Be there and e calm: Ask children what they know and what they have heard. Listen to the child’s story, follow the child’s lead, and be reassuring about the ways that you will take care of them. Use simple language and correct any misunderstood accounts.
  • Above all, know very young children respond more to your emotions, gestures, and tone of voice – even more than your words – although your words are important.
  • Limit repeated exposure to images and reports about the Coronavirus. When children do see images or reports about the virus, Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood suggests that we help them “look for all the people who are helping”. Tell a a child what they need to know, not all that you know. For example, say something like “Some people are sick and being cared for. You are safe and we are doing all the things to keep us healthy like washing our hands, and covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze.”
  • Remember to take care of yourself: If the adults in a child’s life are overwhelmed, overstressed, and overtired, it will be more difficult to be safe, secure and stable for the child.