How to dispel your child's fear of a new virus

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FRIDAY, February 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) – With stories of new coronavirus outbreaks flooding the media, it's easy to be scared. And if you are afraid, your children may be – but they are not.

Honesty and candor are key when talking to your child about this new virus, said Diane Bales, associate professor of human development and family science at the University of Georgia, Athens.

To ease your child's fear of viruses, she recommends the following:

Monitor your child's social media.

Not all information your child receives will be accurate and reliable. Keep track of what they are watching or reading, so you can put information into context.

Remind your child that coronavirus is not common in the United States.

Don't overlook the impact of the epidemic on China, but explain the scope of coronavirus. Remind your child that they are not likely to come into contact with the virus.

Explain the situation in a way that the person will understand.

"Young children who don't have the basic ability to understand how germs spread will only be afraid of this information," Bales said in a university press release. Adjust your explanation to their level of development. Explain that they are not automatically infected with the virus and that there are many ways to stay healthy.

Give your child a sense of control.

Teach your children common hygiene like washing their hands and sneezing into …


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