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How to talk to children about the Coronavirus

Dr. Karen Rogers, who holds a PhD and specializes in clinical psychology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Hospital, says that children need the calm and clear communication of adults who live around them.

Written by Marla Lehner

As the new Corona virus, called COVID-19, continues to spread, it is important that adults calmly communicate with children.

Dr. Karen Rogers, PhD. D and clinical psychologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, provides some guidance on how to talk to children about this virus.

Children pay close attention to what adults say about the Corona virus

Dr. says Rogers: "One of the most important things to keep in mind is that children depend on adults to understand 
the world around them. Therefore, children will feel more or less anxious based on how the adults around them communicate 
with them."

Children and adolescents alike need adult help for them to put this situation in perspective.

Dr. says. Rogers, "They don't have enough life experiences to put something like COVID-19 in its proper context. 
They really need adults to interpret the information for them."

She reminded Dr. Rogers adults also say that children are often more disciplined about what is happening than adults think.

"Be aware that children often listen to adult conversations even when it doesn't look like that," she says. 
"It is best to talk to them directly and also reassure them as possible."

Provide accurate and age-appropriate facts about the Corona virus

Before talking to children, adults must understand the facts and prepare to share accurate information in a way 
that children can understand.

Dr. says. Rogers: "It is important to inform children that most children are not particularly vulnerable to COVID-19." 
"Adults can also tell children that most children do not get very sick with the virus. 
This will help them reduce feelings of anxiety."

Because the COVID-19 virus is still very new, 
scientists are not sure why the number of children who have symptoms of the virus are so few,
 or why children are exposed to only mild symptoms; but children are less likely to be infected with the virus than adults.
She added
 Dr.. Rogers: "Adults can also talk to children about 'sanitary isolation,'
 which means we will stay more inside to help prevent germs from spreading and ensure patients get the help they need from doctors and health care workers.
"

Helping children cope with anxiety caused by school closures

And you recommend dr. Rogers adults invite children and teenagers to share their feelings about separating 
from their friends and help them make plans to stay in touch through virtual visits, phone calls or even writing letters.
And adults can also explain that while this disorder is difficult, it is temporary.

“Adults can tell children that we don’t know how long it will last, but we know that children will return to school,
 adults will return to their work, and people will be able to gather in large groups again.”
 
Adults can also tell children that all of these changes, such as school closings,
 are made to help avoid the spread of the virus and prevent as many people as possible from getting sick.
In order to continue to reduce children's anxiety, Dr. Rogers also advises adults to limit children's exposure to news
 and social media. Even teenagers, who may use social media to stay in touch with friends, 
need to take a break from their device.

Dr. says. Rogers: "Parents need to continue monitoring children's use of social media,
 providing order and ensuring that children and adolescents have time free to follow screens, especially at night."

Talk to children to help relieve anxiety from the Coronavirus

Says
 Dr.. Rogers, "This is an opportunity to help children learn that when they are anxious about things,
 it is important to talk to people. You can say to the child," When you are anxious, 
talk to adults about it because often they can help you. "

It suggests
 Dr.. Rogers deal with child fears in an exciting way. You can tell them, 
"What if I told you that most children don't get sick from this virus?" 
You will then be able to give them information. "

Use good personal hygiene habits

For adults, using good personal hygiene factors is an example for young children - like washing hands frequently
 - the best way to get children to do the same.

Says
 Dr.. Rogers, "Adults can teach children to wash their hands while singing the alphabet song. 
Or adults can say," Oh my God, I touched my nose. "I'll wash my hands."

It is also important to maintain consistency and remind children to wash their hands with warm soapy water after playing outside or before meals,
 while trying to avoid touching their eyes, noses, and mouths.

Says
Dr.. Rogers, "These routines are healthy habits for life, and children will get used to them."

Take care of yourself, too

And you advise
 Dr.. Rogers said: "Adults need to take care of themselves during this difficult period as well." 
"Some adults may have specific concerns about themselves or their families.
 It is important for them to pay attention to their emotional well-being as well, 
which will allow them to better support their children."

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