PITTSBURG — Most children have already heard about coronavirus, but many are scared and confused.
"It's important for children to be well informed and have fact-based information," Ascension Via Christi said in a new release.
Jessilyn Humble, MD, a pediatrician at Ascension Via Christi Clinic in Pittsburg, shared how to talk to children about the virus.
Stay calm and be well informed, she said.
"If your child asks about something and you don't know the answer, say so," Humble said. "Use the question as a chance to find out together."
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for up-to-date, reliable information about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Humble said to give your child specific things they can do to feel in control.
"Teach kids that washing their hands helps stop viruses from spreading to others," she said. "Remind kids to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two "Happy Birthday" songs). Be a good role model and let your kids see you washing your hands often!"
People should teach children to cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough and throw away the tissue immediately, or sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow, Humble said. Do not share food or drinks.
Fewer germs spread by giving elbow bumps instead of high-fives, fist bumps, hugs or handshakes, she said.
The doctor also encouraged people to limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media.
"Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present," Humble said.
People who have questions about children and coronavirus can call the Ascension Hotline at 1-855-782-1039. Humble also recommends parents visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website at healthychildren.org.