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Kids nervous about COVID-19? Here's what you can do

The Public Health Agency of Canada has advice for parents whose young children may be worried after hearing talk about the novel coronavirus
Some tips on how to talk to your worried kids during a pandemic
Some tips on how to talk to your worried kids during a pandemic

If you're nervous about the spread of COVID-19, imagine what your kids are feeling.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says it's worth taking extra time to check in with any young children to see how they are coping.

While at this stage in British Columbia, the novel coronavirus pathogen hasn’t disrupted daily life in the way it has for people in countries like Italy or South Korea, children have no doubt been exposed to peers and adults openly worrying about what will come next.

With that in mind, the PHAC recommends that you: 

  • take children’s fears seriously and tell them that it’s OK to be scared; reassure them that they're safe and that you'll continue to help them when they feel afraid;
  • ask your children about their fears, feelings and thoughts on what has happened;
  • explain the events as best you can and acknowledge what's frightening about what happened;
  • tell your kids what you think and feel — doing so helps them feel less alone if they know that their feelings are similar to yours;
  • and maintain familiar routines, like mealtimes and regular bedtime hours as these are comforting and help reinforce a child's sense of security.