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Talking to Children About COVID-19

Talking to Children About COVID-19

Concern about COVID-19 has put fear in adults across the globe so it’s natural that children are picking up their anxiety.

For parents, acknowledging some level of concern and providing accurate prevention information and facts – without panicking – is appropriate and can help children cope.

If parents seem overwhelmed or overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should assure children that health officials are working hard to ensure that people stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of disease can help reduce anxiety.

The National Association of School Psychologists offers these tips:

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Children react to and follow your verbal and non-verbal reactions.
  • What you say can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety.
  • If true, emphasize to your children that you and your family are fine.
  • Let your children talk about their feelings.

Make yourself available.

  • Children may need extra attention from you to talk about concerns and fears.
  • Tell them that you love them often and give them plenty of affection.

Avoid excessive blaming.

  • It is important to avoid stereotyping any one group of people responsible for the virus.
  • Be aware of comments that other adults are having around your family. You may have to explain what comments mean if they are different than your values.

Monitor TV viewing and social media.

  • Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting your children. Constantly watching updates can increase anxiety.
  • Engage your child in games or other activities.

Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

  • Keep to a regular schedule. This can be reassuring and promotes physical health.

Be honest and accurate.

  • Children often imagine situations worse than reality so provide factual information.
  • Don’t ignore their concerns.
  • Children can be told this disease is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another – when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

You know your children best. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Information is rapidly changing, and so stay informed by visiting or

Source: National Association of School Psychologists


North Oaks Health
Louisiana Dept. of
Centers for Disease Prevention &
National Alliance on Mental
Keeping Calm through COVID Hotline – 1 (866) 310-7977 (24/7)
North Oaks Screening Line – (985) 230-2778