Tips for Teaching Your Child About the Coronavirus & How They Can Reduce Risks

16th March 2020

At the time of writing there’s nearly 180,000 diagnosed cases of Coronavirus worldwide, and goodness knows how many undiagnosed.

This week schools across the UK are getting ready to potentially close for up to four months. This will leave parents to balance childcare, work, chores and their family’s health amidst this pandemic.

Trying to reduce the risk of your family contracting this virus is important. Whilst most people who’ve had Covid-19 have had mild symptoms and recovered fully, it’s dangerous for people with low immunity. This is why it’s important to reduce the risk. Most people have somebody within their network with health problems that this virus could potentially harm.

Children are potentially exposed to the virus within their schools, nurseries and social network. It’s vital we’re teaching them how to maintain good hygiene to reduce risk of catching Coronavirus.

How to Explain Covid-19 to Children

Teaching children about the virus can help to reduce their anxiety. It can be scary for them to see it constantly on the news and social media. Providing kids with information about what it is, how many people are fully recovering and explaining ways to reduce catching it will help ease their fear.

I came across a brilliant free resource today online that is a simple, short online book that explains Coronavirus to children of all ages. It’s been produced in various languages and can be found here.

Teaching Children Good Hygiene

The media are recommending regular hand-washing throughout the day to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus. I encourage my son to wash his hands after toileting, before eating and whenever we return home.

The NHS has a step-by-step guide on how to wash hands properly, which includes washing hands for a minimum of twenty seconds. For children, a fun way to encourage this length of washing is to get them to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice through.

Encourage Children to SingHappy Birthday Twice Through Whilst Washing Their Hands

Tom Fletcher has shared a short video to show children how soap works on germs. It’s brilliant, because it’s a quick and easy task you could do with your child to visually educate them on soap and germs.

Whilst out and about, hand sanitizer is important to have on you at all times. At the moment stock of sanitizer and even toilet roll is sparse, with many shops having empty shelves due to people Googling products and panic buying. Thankfully there’s still sanitizer online, including pocket sanitizers.

Sanitizer’s not as effective as having your hands under hot water for a couple of minutes, but it will help safeguard you until you get home and use soap. There’s also disinfectant sprays which are non-alcohol based and apparently work for longer than sanitizers.

Avoiding Public & Busy Places

This is one of the trickiest tips, because humans are social creatures. We struggle mentally and physically when we’re isolated.

The government today have advised people with health issues, pregnant women and people over the age of 70 to isolate themselves for twelve weeks. They’ve also advised avoiding public places where many people can congregate, like pubs, clubs and children’s play centres.

This is hard when you have kids, as they need to be active or they go stir crazy! Thankfully the weather is starting to shift, so more sunny days are on their way. Outdoor spaces in nature are going to be the best way to get your kids some fresh air.

I’ll be using Forest School Activity Cards now my son is not at school, as a way for us to get out of the house and do something educational and fun. Dog walks will also be our lifeline, and garden play.

I hope some of this will help when educating your children about this virus.

How are you coping with this pandemic?

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