How to talk to your children about the coronavirus outbreak

By now most children have heard about the coronavirus outbreak. But how do you answer the questions they have about their fears and concerns?

Psychologist Doctor Laura Gray, from Children's National Hospital, joined us to discuss ways parents can us to help manage our children’s fear of the virus.

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STEP BACK, MAKE A PLAN: Parents should first address their own fears and worries. You don’t want to make your child’s anxiety worse by sharing you own fears with them.

KEEP THE CONVERSATION AGE APPROPRIATE: Ask your children what they have heard and what they are thinking regarding the coronavirus outbreak. You can then use that information to correct inaccuracies. Then, transition the conversation to what you and your family can do to actively stay healthy.

FOX 5's Complete Coverage of the Coronavirus Outbreak

AM I GOING TO GET SICK? The most basic question your child might have could be are they or their family going to get sick? Dr. Gray says parents can reassure their kids that very few children have become sick from the coronavirus. She says that we can tell them -- for the most part -- people who do get sick can get healthy again.

PRACTICE GOOD HABITS: Take the opportunity to talk to your children about effective hand washing. For younger children, using timed songs or making up a hand washing game, might work best.

MISINFORMATION: Limit and monitor screen time to cut out on misinformation regarding the coronavirus outbreak. You and your children can go to reputable sources to get updated facts. Use the opportunity to answer any questions.