Talking to kids about COVID-19

Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 5:19 PM CDT
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The Coronavirus continues to be on the minds of many as new cases in the US are discovered daily. While we all try to wrap our heads around the topic, there's one group who might need a little extra help understanding it all -- kids. So Dakota News Now spoke with an infectious disease physician and a day care about how they would explain the Coronavirus to a child.

Hey kids, you've probably heard the word: Coronavirus. But what is it?

Doctor Jennifer Hsu is an infectious disease expert at Sanford. She says it's like a cold virus

"In most people this will cause runny nose, stuffy nose, and typical cold symptoms,” said Dr. Hsu.

You may have also heard of COVID-19. That's a disease caused by Coronavirus. She says there are ways to help make sure you don't get it.

"The most important part of preventing any infection is hand hygiene. Teaching them to wash their hands well, teaching them to scrub with soap and water for 15 seconds,” said Dr. Hsu.

She says you also need to be careful to not give your germs to other kids

"Coughing into the crook of their arm, coughing into a tissue. If they cough into their hands, wash them immediately after disposing of tissues right after they've been used,” said Dr. Hsu.

Your teachers have probably been having you do all of this in class like they are at the Sioux Falls Day Care Trucks-n-Trykes 2.

"We're making sure to reiterate to them we need to kill all the germs we need to make sure that the bad germs are not getting inside of us because that's what makes us sick,” said Bri McCarty, Director of Trucks-n-Trykes 2.

This isn't just so you don't get the coronavirus but other sicknesses like a cold or the flu.

Your teachers may have also asked you to keep hands and toys out of your mouths. That's because germs stick to them. But don't be afraid to still play with your toys. Your teachers are making sure they remove the germs. They sanitize everything, by using a spray that kills germs.

"Nap time you'll see a bunch of toys laid out on mats because all of them are being bleached and sanitized, so they can be played with in the afternoon,” said McCarty.

If you're still feeling worried Dr. Hsu says not to.

"The likelihood of severe illness, particularly in children has been low to this point and we would expect in many of them it will be a cold like illness,” said Dr. Hsu.

The Siouxland Library has resources for kids about COVID-19. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the homepage to find it.