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Talking to kids

Talking to children about coronavirus

If a child brings up coronavirus or asks questions, it is important to acknowledge how they may be feeling and to answer questions as honestly as possible.

This will help them feel informed and understand what is happening. Also, it is important students understand the low risk of serious illness.

1. Be aware of your own behaviour

It's important that adults understand the effect their own behaviour can have on children. If you're visibly upset or react in a way that suggests you're fearful, children will take their cues from you.

2. Stick to the facts

Ensure you stick to the facts. This will help keep conversations calm, considered, and constructive.

Sharing factual information should help reassure children that there is no immediate risk to themselves, their friends or their family.

3. Explain what efforts are being made to contain the virus

Authorities are responding quickly. Travel in and out of the affected areas has been restricted, and scientists are working to develop a vaccine.

4. Offer practical advice

For the time being, the easiest way to reduce the risk of being affected by viruses of any sort (including the common cold) is to practise good hygiene.

These are easy habits for children to adopt, and should help them feel as though they're able to exert some control over their circumstances.

More information

For more advice about how to talk to young people about coronavirus (COVID-19), go to the following websites:

How kids can keep busy

It can be tough not seeing your friends or wider family but by staying home you are doing your bit to keep your community safe. Well done you!

Here are some things you might enjoy while at home:'

  • Read for an hour per day! Look up 'best books of all time”, school reading lists, or simply pick a book and read.
  • Write/Journal: This will prove an important historical event, spend a little time documenting it each day;this will help you academically, as well as positively boost your social and emotional health.
  • Remote Career Expo: Engage with your relatives remotely, and find out more about their career, how and why they chose that path, and their opinion of the pros and cons of the career.
  • Compassion Project: keeping a safe distance, how can you help your neighbour or a relative? Write positive and encouraging letters to the elderly, first responders, or medical employees, have the notes delivered to assisted living facilities or hospitals.
  • Independent passion project: You have a unique opportunity to do more with your free time:
  • Learn something new! What is it you wish you knew how to do but never had the time to do it?
  • Learn how to paint a room, cook a meal, or knit a hat. Wash your mum’s car, or learn how to change a tyre.
  • Learn basic coding
  • Fix your bike, or complete a project around the house.
  • Watch YouTube lessons on a variety of personal interests.
  • Work out daily.
  • Plan a games night with your family.