Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
School Closures Could Be Adding to Kids' WaistlinesU.S. Study Finds COVID-19 Seldom Severe in KidsWhy Your Kids' Playground Is Unsafe During COVID-19 PandemicSchool Closures Will Force Many U.S. Health Care Workers to Stay HomeGoing Easy on Yourself Is Key to Parenting Through the PandemicParents, Arm Your Kids Against COVID-19 With Good Hand-Washing HabitsToo Little Sleep Takes Toll on Kids' Mental Health: StudyU.S. Kids, Teens Eating Better But Nutrition Gaps PersistHow to Keep Housebound Kids Busy During a PandemicCalming Your Child's Coronavirus FearsAnother Study Finds COVID-19 Typically Mild for KidsSoap vs. Coronavirus: Best Hand-Washing Tips for You and Your KidsKids Get Mild COVID-19 Symptoms, But Chance of Transmission High: StudyWhen Chronic Pain Leads to Depression in KidsPost-Game Snacks May Undo Calorie-Burning Benefit of Kids' SportsPick Summer Camps Carefully When Your Kid Has Allergies, AsthmaKids Raised by Grandparents More Likely to Pile on Pounds: StudyKeep Your Kids Safe, Warm in Wintertime FunHow to Dispel Your Child's Fears About the New CoronavirusDiabetes Among U.S. Young, Especially Asians, Continues to ClimbMom-to-Be's Cosmetics Chemicals Could Lead to Heavier BabyMeds May Not Prevent Migraines in KidsAHA News: For Kids With Heart Defects, the Hospital Near Mom May Matter1 in 4 Gets Unneeded Antibiotics at Children's HospitalsVitamin D in Pregnancy Doesn't Curb Kids' AsthmaFirst Drug Approved for Treatment of Peanut Allergy in ChildrenWhat's the Best Treatment for a Child's Broken Bone?Are Antibiotics a Recipe for Obesity in Childhood?This Year's Flu Season Taking Deadly Aim at KidsWhy Are Fewer U.S. Kids Going to Pediatricians?Severe Deprivation in Childhood Has Lasting Impact on Brain SizeHealth Tip: What Your Child Can do About BullyingWildfires Send Kids to ERs for Breathing ProblemsTV Can Be a Good Influence on Kids' Eating HabitsWould Tighter Swimming Rules at Public Beaches, Lakes and Rivers Save Lives?U.S. Doctors Often Test, Treat Kids UnnecessarilyHealth Tip: Safety Steps if Your Child is Home AloneHealth Tip: Help Your Child Safely Lose WeightAmericans Need to Tackle Youth Obesity: U.S. Task ForceGenes, Family Are Key Predictors of School SuccessKids' 'Microbiome' May Play Key Role in AsthmaA Puppy in Santa's Sack? Probably Not, Say ParentsMore Kids, Teens Landing in ERs After Opioid OverdosesGetting Active Helps Kids' Hearts, Even in the ObeseWhen Does Your Child's Flu Merit an ER Visit?Health Tip: Managing Hearing Loss in ChildrenHealth Tip: Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?Differences Found in Brains of Kids Born to Depressed ParentsSecondhand Smoke Starts Kids on Path to Heart Disease: StudyHealth Tip: Choosing a Pediatrician
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education
Child Development Theory: Adolescence (12-24)

How to Dispel Your Child's Fears About the New Coronavirus

HealthDay News
by -- Kayla McKiski
Updated: Feb 14th 2020

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With stories about the new coronavirus outbreak flooding the media, it's easy to get scared. And if you're scared, your kids might be, too -- but they don't have to be.

Honesty and directness are key when talking to your child about this new virus, said Diane Bales, associate professor of human development and family science at the University of Georgia, in Athens.

To relieve your child's fears about the virus, she recommends these steps:

Monitor your child's social media.

Not all information your child receives will be accurate and reliable. Keep an eye on what they're watching or reading, so you can put information in context.

Remind your child that coronavirus isn't widespread in the United States.

Don't downplay the outbreak's effect on China, but do explain the scope of the coronavirus. Remind your child that it's unlikely he or she will come in contact with the virus.

Explain the situation in ways he or she will understand.

"Very young children who don't have the basic ability to understand how germs are spread are just going to be scared by this information," Bales said in a university news release. Adjust your explanations to their level of development. Explain that they won't automatically contract the virus and there are ways to stay healthy.

Give your child a sense of control.

Teach your child general hygiene like hand washing and sneezing into their elbows. "It gives them a feeling of 'there's this thing out there that's scary but there are things I can do to prevent getting it,'" Bales said.

Emphasize that it's important to stay home if you're sick.

Remember the consequences of sending your child to school when they're sick. Teach children the importance of limiting contact with people when they are ill to avoid spreading disease.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.