Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
A Parent Resource from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses
A new type of coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory (lung) disease. It was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally. While the immediate health risk in the United States is low, it is important to plan for any possible outbreaks if the risk level increases in the future. Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. While we don’t know where and to what extent the disease may spread here in the United States, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from individual to individual, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country 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 infection can help reduce anxiety
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
There are many things you can do to support your child
During the school closure, our Dennis Township Guidance and Child Study Team Members are available to assist you. We will be checking our email and voicemails daily. Please feel free to reach out us. We are here to support you and your family!
Monica M. DiVito, Assistant Principal email@example.com (609)861-2821 x 522
Kathy Pittaluga, School Social Worker firstname.lastname@example.org (609)861-2821 x 530
Arianna Sparano, School Psychologist email@example.com (609)861-2821 x 524
Jillian Bassetti, School Counselor firstname.lastname@example.org (609)861-2821 x401
Helpful resources to explain the Coronavirus to children