Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
With Social Distancing, Schools Should Be Safe to Reopen This Fall, Experts SayThe Long-Term Harm of Missing SchoolHow the Pandemic Is Changing Summer CampHealthier School Meal Programs Helped Poorer Kids Beat Obesity: StudyWith Pandemic-Related Stress, Abuse Against Kids Can SurgeKeep Your Kids Safe in the Water. Here's HowMultiple Surgeries for Cleft Lip, Palate Won't Cause Major Psychological Damage2 in 3 Parents Would Send Kids to School in Fall: SurveySigns of Developing Adult Diabetes Seen as Early as Age 8: StudyVaccine Might Guard Against Bacteria That Cause Diarrhea in KidsShould You Send Your Kid to Summer Camp? Expert Offers AdvicePractice Gun Safety for Your Kids' Sake, Especially During PandemicAsthma More Likely in Kids With Disabilities, DelaysDon't Let COVID-19 Scuttle Your Child's Health ExamsAbout 1 in 15 Parents 'Hesitant' About Child Vaccines: SurveyHome Alone: Will Pandemic's Changes Harm Kids' Mental Health Long-Term?Concussion Can Lead to Vision, Balance Problems in Young KidsAHA News: Finding Balance Between the Good of Youth Sports and Risks of COVID-19Black Children Hit Especially Hard by COVID-19 Inflammatory SyndromeKids Breaking Fewer Bones During Pandemic, But More Fractures Happening at HomeSimilar to Adults, Obesity Raises Kids' Odds for Severe COVID-19Are Food Allergies Under-Diagnosed in Poor Families?Stay-at-Home Orders Could Mean More Obese Kids: StudyWhere Are Kids Getting the Most 'Empty Calories'?AHA News: For Kids, a Pandemic of Stress Could Have Long-Term Consequences6 Expert Tips for Defusing Kids' Quarantine MeltdownsFor Many Kids, Picky Eating Isn't Just a Phase, Study FindsSure-Fire Solutions for Managing Lockdown Temper TantrumsKeeping Kids Slim, Fit During Lockdown Isn't Easy: Here Are Some TipsCOVID-19 Antibodies May Tame Inflammatory Condition in Kids: StudyCould Certain Chemicals Trigger Celiac Disease?Italian Doctors Detail Cases of Inflammatory Condition in Kids With COVID-19AHA News: Is Your Child's Blood Pressure Something to Worry About?Zika Virus Tied to Profound Developmental DelaysCOVID-19 Still Rare in Kids, But Far From Harmless: StudyKids' ER Visits for Mental Health Problems Soared Over 10 YearsTo Prevent Injuries, Give Your Kids a Pass on Cutting the GrassFewer Kids in Cancer Trials, Which Might Not Be a Bad ThingLoving Family May Lower Future Depression Risk in KidsBest Ways to Help Kids Through the PandemicIn Rare Cases, COVID-19 May Be Causing Severe Heart Condition in KidsReplace That Old Carpet to Shield Your Kids From ToxinsCoronavirus Crisis Has Fewer Kids Getting Needed VaccinesAHA News: Traumatic Childhood Increases Lifelong Risk for Heart Disease, Early DeathFDA Bans Products That Help Kids Hide Vape Use From ParentsCalm Parenting Will Help Children Through Coronavirus PandemicStudy Confirms Safety, Effectiveness of Children's VaccinesUp to 50,000 U.S. Kids May Be Hospitalized With COVID-19 by Year's EndAre Immune-Compromised Kids at Greater Risk From COVID-19?All That Social Media Hasn't Hurt Kids' Social Skills, Study Finds
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.