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Children's Coronavirus Resources

To help give children a better understanding of the coronavirus that is causing disruption in our daily lives, the RTI at UMass Medical created this resource just for kids. We hope parents and teachers can use it to help explain this complex situation, while also teaching the wonders of science. 


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Coronavirus Coloring Page

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               Click to download
               the Coronavirus
               Coloring Page! 

Practicing Social Distancing with Abby and Rudy

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Abby and Rudy are practicing social distancing by staying home. But they're still having fun with friends through virtual playdates and at home activities together!

ABC’s of COVID-19 with CNN & Sesame Street Townhall
CNN's Erica Hill, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and emergency physician, Dr. Leana Wen, partner with Sesame Street to explain the ABC's of coronavirus in a town hall for parents and kids. 

Sesame Street Caring for Each Other Initiative
Our daily lives have been disrupted and families everywhere are trying to create a new sense of normalcy. Children thrive with structure in their lives and they learn best through play--even in everyday moments like mealtimes and morning and evening routines. This site is filled with content you can use to spark playful learning and offer children comfort. 

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Talking to Children About COVID-19

Our Child Life team at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center offers some thoughts to help you talk to kids about COVID-19 (adapted from The Simply Well Blog, UMMHC and Sesame Street). More resources on talking to children about COVID-19 are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Facing a health emergency can bring up feelings of stress, uncertainty, and confusion, especially for young children. While we don’t want to overload them with scary information, we can try to answer their questions honestly. There are simple ways to talk about COVID-19 with young children, and we can always offer comfort:

Be aware of your emotions.

  • This is an uncertain and confusing time for our communities, but children are looking to you for reassurance and guidance. Find a time when you’re feeling calm to discuss the coronavirus with your children.
  • Be open to talking with children about the coronavirus, and reassure children that they are less likely to get this virus. Emphasize the importance of hand washing and keeping hands away from their nose, eyes and mouth.

Make every attempt to limit what kids are seeing and hearing in the media.

  • Remind children that not everything they are hearing on TV and from friends is accurate. Keep an open invitation for communication.
  • Remember to have adult conversations away from your children; they are always listening!
  • Avoid any conversation that could promote a stigma. Any person is susceptible to the virus.

Consider the child’s developmental age when speaking about COVID-19.

  • Follow their lead. Inquire about what they are seeing/hearing. Use this time to clarify misconceptions. Be honest but give only the detail that they need.
  • Explain that COVID-19 is a virus. It is so small, it is invisible, and it can make some people sick. But there are ways to protect ourselves and others (we can wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, say hello in new ways such as waving from afar, sneeze or cough into the bend of our arm, stay indoors, and keep a safe distance of six feet from other people).
  • Children will have different questions depending on their age group. For example, a young child may be more concerned with disruptions in their routine. While an adolescent may be concerned about getting the virus themselves. Toddlers and preschool age children may not have questions at all!
  • It’s okay if you don’t know the answer to a question. Praise the child by saying, “That’s a great question. I’m not sure!” and follow up later.
  • Address their fears or concerns about getting sick by talking about the important work of all the “helpers” (nurses, doctors, scientists, cleaning staff, etc.) in their community.

Kids are often more successful when they have structure.

  • Make every attempt to maintain rules and routines to the best of your ability. This is tricky when schools are closed! But some structure during the day is helpful.
  • Play is a way for children to learn at home. Engage kids in learning activities, such as art and crafts, cooking, music, puzzles, dress up/pretend play, nature walks, board games, and reading.
  • Consider adding educational apps to electronics. Maintain consistent rules around limiting screen time.
  • Keep habits around bedtime, meals and discipline consistent.
  • Remind children that information is always changing, and that you will be honest with them when they need to know something.

Watch for significant changes in your child’s behavior. If you are concerned, reach out to your child’s pediatrician for assistance.