How to talk to teens about the new coronavirus


We appear to be caught in a nonstop information cycle concerning the new coronavirus that’s inflicting an sickness referred to as COVID-19. Many mother and father are understandably sharing issues, too — no less than amongst buddies and households. It’s additionally potential that youngsters are speaking to their very own buddies and browsing the online and social media websites to assemble data, together with potential misinformation.

How are you going to make certain youngsters are knowledgeable simply sufficient with out feeling overwhelmed, but even have correct data? Your teen already could also be asking many questions. Even when not, it may be a good suggestion to seek out out what your teen has heard in case it’s essential make clear data and ask them if they’ve any worries. (In case you have youthful youngsters, see my weblog put up on speaking to youngsters about coronavirus.)

In case you have your personal questions concerning the new coronavirus, examine dependable sources, such because the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, which affords a spread of details about the virus. The World Well being Group’s fable busters web page can assist you give appropriate solutions to some stunning questions and misinformation that’s spreading.

Answering questions teenagers could have concerning the new coronavirus

Earlier than you begin, ask what your youngster is aware of to date in case it’s essential make clear something, and discover out what questions your youngster has. Beneath are some questions teenagers may ask concerning the new coronavirus and a few prompt responses.

What triggered this new coronavirus?

Coronaviruses trigger the frequent chilly and the flu. This coronavirus is believed to have began in animals after which handed on to people at a stay animal market in China.

Why now?

That is truly not the primary time that there was a widespread virus that began in animals and unfold to people. One other instance is the extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 that was attributable to a unique coronavirus. That virus ultimately was contained. Medical doctors, scientists, and authorities officers are working exhausting to do the identical with this latest coronavirus.

One cause why we’re listening to extra about this virus is due to how briskly it’s spreading and the way a lot it has affected individuals in many various nations. Another excuse is that we even have many extra methods of sharing data than we did in 2002, and posts now have the flexibility to “go viral” themselves. In case you discover that you’re changing into distressed after studying the entire posts concerning the virus, then it may be useful to restrict how a lot you learn concerning the virus within the information and on websites or apps, to learn simply sufficient.

Can our pets get sick?

There may be little proof that domesticated pets, together with canine and cats at residence, are prone to get sick from this new coronavirus, or unfold the virus.

Are you able to die from the brand new coronavirus?

Most individuals — most likely greater than 95% and probably greater than 99% — who’ve gotten sick from the brand new coronavirus haven’t died. The demise price is probably going even decrease than has been reported within the information as a result of, identical to with the flu, some individuals with gentle circumstances of the virus could not have gone to the physician to get examined.

Will my faculty shut due to issues concerning the brand new coronavirus?

Some communities could determine to quickly shut locations, together with colleges, to present communities affected by sickness attributable to the virus an opportunity to stop it from spreading rapidly. This has occurred earlier than when some colleges have had excessive charges of different viruses, together with the norovirus. These colleges reopened later. In case your faculty makes the choice to shut quickly, we’ll hear extra about that.

Ought to we keep residence to stay secure, so we don’t catch the brand new coronavirus?

People who find themselves contaminated with the brand new coronavirus are requested to remain residence for about two weeks. Additionally, individuals who may need been uncovered to the virus are requested to remain residence for a time frame to ensure they don’t develop any signs of the virus.

In case you don’t have the virus, then it’s best to proceed to do what you want and like to do. Apply the identical on a regular basis wholesome habits that you’d (or ought to) do anyway. You’ll be on monitor in the event you:

  • Sneeze or cough into tissues (and throw them away) or sneeze or cough into your elbow. These behaviors assist hold germs from touring and making different individuals sick.
  • Wash your arms with cleaning soap and water after going to the lavatory, earlier than consuming, and after blowing your nostril. Once you wash your arms, keep in mind to rely slowly to twenty.
  • Attempt to keep away from touching your mouth, eyes, and nostril, that are locations the place the germs can enter your physique.
  • Attempt to get sufficient sleep and eat nicely to assist your physique keep wholesome.

Further ideas for supporting your teen

  • Remind teenagers that everybody is working exhausting to handle the virus.
  • Though it could appear troublesome, it is very important mannequin calmness. Teenagers will look to oldsters to gauge how nervous they need to be, despite the fact that it could look like they simply tune you out!
  • Present your teenagers that it’s potential to proceed to do what’s vital to you whereas working towards wholesome behaviors.
  • If it turns into mandatory to regulate plans, be clear and direct together with your teen in order that they perceive the rationale behind the choice. For instance, if you must postpone journey due to new recommendation about secure journey, then let your teen know that. Examine the CDC journey advisories for up-to-date data. You’ll be able to add that the journey was postponed as a result of it was not a mandatory journey, and that the household will proceed to do what is important every day.

For extra data, see our weblog on what mother and father ought to know and do concerning the coronavirus and our Coronavirus Useful resource Heart.

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