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19:42 PM

NBC4: How to Talk to Your Kids About COVID-19

As scary as COVID-19 is for adults, its impact on children can be just as severe. Kristen Hicks, a bereavement counselor with OhioHealth, spoke with NBC4 on March 23 about how parents can talk about COVID-19 with their kids.

According to Hicks, it all starts with asking questions and being honest. Start by asking your child what they already know about the situation and be ready to answer any questions they might have.

It’s also important for parents to monitor their own responses to COVID-19.

“Parents have to manage their own anxiety about this too because kids take cues from us, and if we’re showing that we’re really anxious, they’re going to be really anxious too,” said Hicks. “I think taking care of ourselves is really important. A lot of times parents will feel like they don’t have a whole lot of control in a situation like this where there aren’t a lot of really good answers, so do whatever you can to make yourself feel like you have more control.”

That level of control is important to convey to children too.

“Kids may not know what’s going on in the world, but they know what’s going on in their smaller world,” said Hicks. “Say things like, ‘If you keep your hands washed and you sneeze into your elbow, you can help keep people like your grandparents and neighbors safe.’ Those can help reduce their anxiety as well.”

To watch the video by NBC4, click the station logo below.