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Addressing Children's Worries about COVID-19

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Addressing Students’ Worry & Anxiety about Coronavirus COVID-19 

Children and teens react to anxiety and stress differently than adults. Some may react right away; others may show signs that they are having a difficult time much later.

Overhearing adult conversations about events happening in their communities, watching or reading the news can make them feel scared, confused, or anxious, in much the same way as adults. This is true even if they live far from where the outbreak is taking place and are at little or no risk of getting sick. 

As parents/caregivers, the best way you can support their wellness and healing is by staying calm. Children will react to what you say and how you say it. Make yourself available to listen and talk. Let them know that adults at home and school are taking care of their health and safety. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online. Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on the Coronavirus. Too much information on one topic can lead to fear, worry, and anxiety. 

Below are some helpful articles on talking to your children about the current viral outbreak. 

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/outbreak_factsheet_1.pdf

Talking With Children:
Tips For Caregivers, Parents, And Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4886.pdf
Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Get Help
If you or your child are having a difficult time coping with the outbreak and want to seek outside help, contact your medical provider or insurance or speak to a trained counselor to get support regarding your anxiety or stress:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990
 
 

Lara Choulakian
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
626.396.3600 ext. 88233

Luisana Marquez
Clinical Social Worker
626.396.3600 ext. 40592

Edith Ballard
Clinical Social Worker
626.396.3600 ext. 40504