From: The Stream

How do we talk to kids about coronavirus?

The Stream discusses how to console young children amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, August 12 at 19:30 GMT:
While information about the physical effects of the coronavirus pandemic on children is undetermined, the effect on their mental health is clear. Anxiety and stress levels among children below the age of five are on the rise – with many overwhelmed by a fear of the unknown and how long the pandemic will last.

In April, paediatricians in Hubei province, China studied more than 2,000 school-aged children for signs of mental trauma. After just one month of lockdown, 22.6 percent of children showed symptoms of depression and 18.9 percent were suffering from severe anxiety. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered guidance on helping young children at this time, including, talking to your children about COVID-19, answering questions about the virus, taking breaks, eating well and getting plenty of sleep.

But how much information is too much for children under five? How can a global crisis be explained to young children? And what about children whose living conditions are insufficient?

In this episode of The Stream, we put those questions to a panel of experts and look to some of the writers who are finding creative ways to explain the pandemic to children thorough books, comics and cartoons.

On this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Fatima Faisal, @fatimaf423
Author, The Incredible Docs vs Billy the Bad Virus

Dr Vikram Harshad Patel, @GMHatHarvard

Jacqueline So, @Malvern_HK
Co-founder and chief executive of Malvern College, Asia

Read more:
COVID-19 could force about 10 million kids out of school: Report – Al Jazeera
How does COVID-19 infect children? And should they be in school? – Al Jazeera