How do I talk to my child about coronavirus?

During this uncertain time, it is important for children to feel comfortable and safe. We cover some ways to safeguard your children from anxieties around this pandemic. We have some tips on how to talk to children about coronavirus.

Use appropriate language

Young children cannot understand the complexities of the virus and the additional challenges we face because of it. However, children are highly receptive to parents’ feelings, moods and language.

Terms like ‘germs’ and ‘bugs’ work well for illustrating these otherwise complex terms.

They also respond well to pictures of the virus under microscope images to help them wrap their heads around something that the virus exists even though it is otherwise blind to the naked eye.

Use precise and exact language. Use examples to explain how germs transfer.

Prevention with good hygiene

Emphasise the best way to not let those germs get into their bodies.

Explain why it is important to wash your hands often but especially before and after eating and after you go to the toilet, not to touch your face, keep a distance between friends and to sneeze into your elbow.

Make it fun! Sing a song when teaching children how to wash their hands thoroughly and properly.

Reassure children

Avoid appearing overwhelmed of anxious about coronavirus as children are highly sensitive to parental anxieties. Let children know that it is alright to be upset and invite them to talk about their emotions. Then discuss what action steps you’re taking as a family to help the in ‘stopping the spread of the germs’.

Talk about prevention and reassure children that they are safe and healthy and loved.

There are multiple sources to access to find out more information about the coronavirus. Talk to your family and friends to see how they’re discussing it with their children as well as their Educators. It is a great way to keep a clear and consistent message through to children to avoid confusion, have a chat to your child’s Educator and ask how their classroom is learning about ‘germ fighting’.