Talking to Your Child About COVID-19

Sep 8, 2021


As a parent, it is essential to have open and honest conversations with your child about sensitive topics, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At MUIR DIABLO OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, we understand the importance of empowering your child to understand and cope with the challenges posed by this global health crisis. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with expert advice and practical tips on how to approach the conversation, address their fears and concerns, and promote their emotional well-being.

The Importance of Communication

Open and effective communication is key when discussing the pandemic with your child. By initiating these conversations, you can establish a safe and supportive environment where they feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, fears, and anxieties. Remember, the information they receive from you will be influential in shaping their understanding and response to COVID-19.

Addressing Age-Appropriate Concerns

It's important to tailor your discussion based on your child's age and level of understanding. Young children may have difficulty grasping complex concepts, so it's best to simplify the information while focusing on reassurance and safety measures.

Preschool and Early Elementary

For young children, emphasize the importance of good hygiene habits like handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching their face. Use simple language and reassure them that adults, including doctors and healthcare workers, are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe.

Upper Elementary and Middle School

As children grow older, they may have more specific questions and concerns. Provide them with accurate information about COVID-19 in a age-appropriate manner. Discuss the importance of following public health guidelines, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, while emphasizing the resilience of communities and the dedication of healthcare professionals.

High School and Beyond

Teenagers may require a more in-depth conversation. Encourage critical thinking and help them navigate through the influx of information available online. Engage in meaningful discussions about the potential impact of COVID-19 on society, mental health, and the importance of resilience and adaptability during these challenging times.

Addressing Emotional Well-being

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly created emotional stress for children and adolescents. It is crucial to address their emotions and provide support to help them navigate these uncertain times.

Validating Emotions

Let your child know that it is normal to feel a range of emotions, including fear, uncertainty, and sadness. Validate their feelings and create a safe space where they can openly express themselves. Encourage them to share their worries and actively listen without judgment.

Creating a Routine

Establishing a daily routine can provide a sense of stability and security for your child amidst the pandemic. Ensure they have a structured schedule that includes time for learning, recreation, and relaxation. Consistency can help alleviate anxiety and foster a sense of normalcy.

Limiting Media Exposure

Information overload can exacerbate anxiety and distress. As a parent, it's crucial to monitor and limit your child's exposure to news and social media. Provide reliable sources of information and encourage them to ask questions if they encounter conflicting or alarming content.

Encouraging Self-Care

Teach your child the importance of self-care activities, such as exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. Engaging in creative outlets, like art or writing, can also serve as effective stress-reduction methods.


Talking to your child about COVID-19 is an ongoing process. By maintaining open lines of communication, addressing their concerns, and promoting their emotional well-being, you are equipping them with the necessary tools to navigate these uncertain times. Remember, at MUIR DIABLO OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, we are here to support you and your family through trusted medical advice and resources. Together, we can help your child develop resilience and stay healthy during this global health crisis.

Bailey Wolford
Vital guidance for parents
Oct 7, 2023