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Coronavirus: Helpful information to answer questions from children

Coronavirus is all over the news right now, so it’s understandable that many children, and adults, are anxious about the virus and how it could impact them.  

How can you support your child, and yourself, with these concerns? We share some of our tips, and some useful resources, to put this in context.  

Father and daughter washing hands

Deal with your own worries 

It’s just as important that you look after your own mental health and wellbeing. It’s good to stay informed but bear in mind that watching upsetting footage or reading sensational social media coverage may be detrimental to your own mental health.  

Consider where you’re getting your information from. Try to stick to reputable sources for updated guidance on the virus, such as the NHS, Public Health England or Health Protection Scotland, rather than relying on social media or the press for your information. 

We recommend reading this advice from BACP counsellors on how to cope if you're feeling anxious about coronavirus. 

Talk to your child 

Don’t be afraid to have conversations with your child about coronavirus - not talking about something can sometimes make children worry more. Other children will be talking about it, they may have heard it on the news or seen someone wearing a face mask, and they might have questions for you. 

Remember that you don’t need to have all of the facts and answers. There are lots of resources out there for you to read together, or for you to direct your child to, to help ease their worries. 

We recommend reading this Newsround article about coronavirus and how it’s being tackled. 

Be reassuring  

It may be helpful to remind your child that flu is actually more common than coronavirus and reassure them that more people are recovering from the virus, than dying from it. 

We recommend watching CBBC's Dr Chris and Dr Xand talk about why coronavirus 'may not be as scary as it sounds'.

Take precautions to protect yourself 

If you, or your child, are worried about catching coronavirus; take precautions to protect yourself. Be aware of the symptoms and follow NHS guidance on how to avoid catching it. Health bodies across the world are advising people to regularly wash their hands, put used tissues in the bin, avoid close contact with those who are unwell, and not touch their faces if their hands are not clean. 

We recommend watching this Newsround video on how to wash your hands

Other resources you may find useful: 

 

Remember that if you are struggling with your mental health, there is always help available.

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