How to Talk to Children About COVID-19

Currently, reports of COVID-19 are constant in the media. The impacts of the current situation have led to school and child care provider closures, quarantines and bare shelves in grocery stores. For children, this can be overwhelming and difficult to understand. Below are some suggestions on how to support and talk to your children about COVID-19. Be reassuring, patient and relaxed:

  • Young children and adolescents may not understand the gravity of the current situation, which may cause them to feel anxiety, fear, confusion or frustration. Providing comfort and assurance, as well as being available to your children during this tumultuous time is vital.
  • Children may have questions regarding COVID-19. Allow them to ask these questions, which may relate to school closures, symptoms of the virus, changes in their daily routine or things they see or hear from their friends or the media. Having an open discussion about this ever-changing situation may ease your children’s concerns.
  • What your children see in the news and on social media can also be a factor in how they handle the pandemic. Limiting your child’s exposure to some news sources and social media outlets might be helpful in alleviating any stress your children may be feeling.
  • During this pandemic, children are home due to the closures of schools and child care centers. This disruption can throw a normal routine into disarray. Establishing and maintaining a schedule while at home can help keep your children occupied  during this stressful event.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, don’t hesitate to seek advice. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 800-245-1150.