ECU Physician offers advice on explaining COVID-19 to children

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 9:00 PM EDT
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Children now have many questions surrounding the coronavirus and changes associated with it. For example, they may ask: Why do we always have to stay home or Why can't we go to school?

One Greenville pediatrician says the best gift we can give children during the coronavirus pandemic is, to be honest, and not pretend as if everything is the same.

Dr. Drew Baker is the Chief of General Pediatrics with the Brody School of Medicine. He said, "First ask them what they know, and what they've heard, and then respond to their questions." Explaining its best to communicate with your child and express your emotions while validating theirs, then figure out coping mechanisms together.

​Baker said if you don't know an answer to one of the questions your child may have, simply do some research with your child using credible sources like the CDC. He said when kids wonder why they can't go to daycare or the store to give them options. “Giving them choices like saying, you're not going to be able to go to the store today, but would you like to paint a picture, or would you like to put together a puzzle?" he said.

While your child adjusts to doing all of their school work at home, Baker said its best to keep them on a schedule. "I think anything that sets a routine, even if it’s a different routine that before the pandemic is really super helpful to kids and to us as grown-ups as well," said Baker.