Children and Coronavirus

20th March 2020 2 min read

Should I talk to my children about Corona Virus (Covid 19).

Approximately 80 per cent of British children are worried about COVID-19, according to a recent YouGov/Coognita poll.

Involving our family and children in plans for good health is essential. We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.

We need to minimise the negative impact and explain the facts to them. Be as truthful and factual as you can. Discussing the situation is necessary, talking about this now may safeguard your child’s mental health in the future.

Try to engage at an age appropriate level, and not avoid this subject as too “scary”. Its natural to feel anxious and sometimes overwhelmed when we think about the outbreak. It’s important to acknowledge and validate these feelings and be able to talk about them.

Worries and Anxieties

If your child already worries, or has anxiety about the unknown, the feeling of waiting for something to happen as we are right now, may trigger difficult thoughts and feelings. Look out for signs of anxiety and stress such as:

• becoming irritable, tearful or clingy

• have difficulty sleeping, having bad dreams

• wetting the bed

• lack confidence to try new things or seem unable to face simple, everyday challenges

• find it hard to concentrate

• have problems with sleeping or eating

• have angry outbursts

• have a lot of negative thoughts, or keep thinking that bad things are going to happen

• start avoiding everyday activities, such as seeing friends, going out in public or going to school

There is extensive news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, it’s important to find a balance. Be aware of the risks of over exposure to the news. It may be useful to limit the time spent on social media, engaging in more active pastimes which will distract your child and offer a different focus.

How can I explain corona virus to my child?

Dr Tim Ubhi explains that 'Coronavirus is an infection that can give you a cough and a runny nose. It’s really very important that we wash our hands regularly so that we don’t give the infection to anyone else. We will also need to drink plenty of water and sometimes take some medicine to make us feel better'."

Remember : It’s important to assure your child that most people who catch coronavirus recover within a few weeks.

If you have any concerns about your child and the Corona Virus I am a Manchester based counsellor and able to take telephone and video sessions for yourself and your child. Please feel free contact me here at Salford Counselling.