Tips for talking to kids about COVID-19:
1. For older children, ask them what they've heard about COVID-19 and what questions they might have. Gauge their level of knowledge and help them sort fact from fiction.
2. It is a parent or positive mentors job to help children feel safe and secure. Reassure youth, if they are worried, that they are safe. It's important that kids are not asked to support their caregivers concerns or worries.
3. Share with them what you know and what you don't know. Help them understand that scientists are studying the virus every day and are learning more along the way. Be sure to create opportunities for more conversations as more information is understood and becomes available about the virus.
4. For young and older children, one of the best things you can do is reinforce healthy hygiene habits. Ask them: What can we do now to stay healthy? What could we do more of? What can we do better?
5. Here is some prevention guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to protect yourself and your family.
Don't forget to try to make it fun and engaging! Especially for younger children, focus on healthy habits and make up a game to reinforce them. For example, create a new fun song to sing every time they wash their hands (that lasts 20 seconds or more).
Preventing the spread of viruses is important every cold and flu season, especially now. Continue to follow guidance from the CDC and local health departments in your community to stay up to date.