Talking To Young People About Coronavirus

Talking To Young People About Coronavirus

4:17pm Mar 12, 2020
Pediatric psychologist Linda Nicolotti (left) was joined by infectious disease expert Christopher Ohl for Wake Forest Baptist Health's COVID-19 update on Thursday, March 12. DAVID FORD/WFDD

Worry about the coronavirus is being felt by adults around the world, but what about young people? How to address children’s concerns was the topic of discussion at Thursday’s COVID-19 forum at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem. 

Effectively communicating with children about coronavirus and helping manage anxiety can be tricky, but there are a few basics: keep the lines of communication open, find out what your child has heard or seen from other sources, and be prepared to filter the information they take in to ensure they’re getting just the facts.

Pediatric psychologist Linda Nicolotti says caregivers play another crucial role as well.

“Parents can also be mindful of what message their own behavior and conversations are giving to children in order to help children manage anxiety,” says Nicolotti. “Children do tend to take lead from parents, so it’s important for parents to set a good example there.”

Nicolotti adds that limiting social media and news around the coronavirus is important. She says increased exposure to distressing information and images may exacerbate a child’s anxiety.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here.

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