Coronavirus (COVID-19) and my child
Living with coronavirus (COVID-19) is our new normal, and your child may have questions. They may want to know more about what it is, and what can be done to help keep themselves, their friends and their families safe.
Talking about the virus can help ease your child’s worries.
How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?
You could say: “Coronavirus is a new type of virus. Viruses can make you sick. Your body may feel very hot and you may cough. You may also feel slow and sleepy for a few days. It's important for everyone to stay home and rest if they feel sick. When we are sick we can only hug our family”
You may like to reassure your child that coronavirus is like other viruses, and that there are things we can do to stay well.
Keep talking with your child about the importance of handwashing
You can talk about how we need to wash our hands a lot - like after going to the shops, when we arrive at kindy or childcare and when we get home.
We can also talk about catching our sneezes in our elbows, like Superman. And remember to throw our dirty tissues in the bin
We need to wash our hands really well: in between our fingers, front and back. You may like to sing a song like “Top and bottom” twice (you can sing it to the tune of Frere Jacques).
Top and bottom, top and bottom
In between, in between
Scrub your hands together, scrub your hands together
Nice and clean, nice and clean
How do I explain social distancing?
In this video, children from C&K Carseldine Community Childcare talk about how they need to keep their bodies to themselves. This can be challenging for young children and normal for their age and stage of development.
“Hugs and kisses are for family who live with you. How about we try to blow kisses, wink or try an eye hug?”
Take time to read with your child
If you are able, take extra time to play and be with your child, they may ask questions and share their worries with you during play. It’s also a good idea to keep to your usual routines, if possible, as routines can help children feel safe and secure. Reading stories on a video call is a great way to keep connected with grandparents and other loved ones who may be isolated.
C&K has published a Coronavirus storybook which you might like to read with your child. "Covibook" is another book you can read and use as an activity with your child to explore their feelings about what is happening. (Available in multiple languages.)
Could you listen to music, your favourite story or a podcast in the car?
If possible, limit news coverage. If you are watching or listening the news (like in your car), be there with your child so you can answer questions and reassure them they are safe. Young children who watch repeated news coverage can think the same situation is happening again and again as they don't yet have a strong grasp of past and present.
Be aware of the conversations you have with other adults about COVID-19. Children tune in to body language and tone of voice and take their cues from the adults around them.
We are all in this together, so please do talk to your C&K teacher and/ or educator if you have any concerns.