Teaching kids about masks and ways that they protect them from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, may seem like a struggle, but you are not alone. In fact, our SEO team saw a huge spike in search terms related to “explaining germs to kids.” A lot of parents want to teach their kids to stay safe, but there aren’t many fun, child-friendly videos out there. That’s why we collaborated with voice actor Ryan Philbrook to produce an entertaining (and accurate!) video to help parents talk to kids about preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
In this animated video, kids learn how to defeat this year’s biggest supervillain Colonel Coronavirus through:
- Practicing social distancing
- Hand washing
- Wearing a mask
Not only does this video inspire kids to “do their part,” but it also makes them laugh. But don’t take our word for it. Watch it for yourself!
Need more? Here are a few tips on how to talk to your kid about coronavirus.
Explaining Germs to Kids in a Way that Make Sense
Germs are microscopic organisms that cannot be seen without a microscope. Explaining something to kids that they cannot physically see can be a challenge. Explain to them that germs are very tiny creatures that do not feel or think, and can make people sick, but do not choose who to make sick. Tell them that these invisible creatures can sit on surfaces or be in the air after someone sneezes or coughs, and there are simple everyday things we can do to protect ourselves against germs.
What is Coronavirus, and How Does it Spread?
COVID-19 is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.” This new coronavirus spreads through droplets of discharge or saliva from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. People can also be infected by touching their face or food before washing their hands. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and fatigue, and some people can carry the virus but never show any signs of illness. To learn more, check out the CDC’s webpage on the coronavirus.
How to Talk to Kids About Covid-19
Talking to kids about COVID-19 may seem like a way to frighten them more, but it is through open discussion that children will be able to feel empowered and comforted. Here are a few key steps to remember when explaining COVID-19 to your kids.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About it with Your Kid but be Choosy with the Info
Having a conversation with your kids is an opportunity to learn what worries your child. Give them fact-based information, but be careful not to overwhelm your child with too much information. Be clear, keep it simple, and try to answer their questions with honesty. What matters most is letting your child know you are available to talk to them and are open to answer questions.
Remember to Deal with Your Own Anxiety First Before Talking to Your Kids
Be careful to keep your anxiety in check when talking to your kids. Your anxiety may frighten your children even more. Take some time for yourself to find ways to calm down before having a conversation with your kid.
When Talking to Your Kids, be Reassuring.
Most children are egocentric. Meaning they believe everything will happen to them. So it is crucial to remind children that they are not alone in this pandemic and that they can help to stay safe and stop the spread.
Combat Uncertainty with a Routine.
With the cancelation of schools and daycares, most children are experiencing a disruption in their lives. Creating a structured, everyday routine, will help feel comforted and in control of their lives. Make sure to create a routine that works for everyone, with regular mealtimes and bedtimes.
Empower Your Kids by Focusing on How You’re Staying Safe
Fighting against something that is invisible and spreads so easily, may seem daunting. Remind your child that they can help by washing their hands, participating in social distancing, and wearing a mask. Let them know that they have an important role in protecting themselves, their family, and their community through these three actions.
Ways To Help Kids Wear Face Masks
Face masks run the risk of becoming a symbol of fear for kids. In the United States, we are not used to wearing a face mask or seeing others wearing masks as we do now. It is vital to help kids understand that a face mask is a symbol of preventative care, not fear. Here are a few tips to help:
Make a Game Out of It With a Reward at the End
Motivate your kids to wear a mask by turning it into a game, like “who can go the longest without touching their mask” game. You can start with a set of points, and every time someone touches their mask to adjust or move it, they lose a point. Making it a game like this will help children to build a positive relationship with their mask and have fun wearing them.
Give Them a Positive Reward for Wearing Their Mask
Having to do something dreadful or scary is hard for anyone. As adults, we can reason with ourselves why we may need to overcome what scares us, but for kids, it can be difficult. Offering them a reward such as their favorite dessert or an extra hour of their favorite activity is a great way to incentivize them to wear masks and look forward to getting home.
Get Your Child Involved in Designing or Choosing Their Mask
If you plan on making homemade masks, let your child help pick out what fabric to use. If you are ordering face masks online, let them choose their favorite design. Turn the mask into something that they are excited about showing off and want to wear it.
How Can You Help?
This pandemic may be frightening and seem overwhelming for many. But remember the three things that you can do today to stop the spread of coronavirus: social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a face mask. These three actions not only keep you safe but others too. Do your part to protect yourself and help to keep others safe. The coronavirus affects us all, and it will take all of us to team up together to defeat Colonel Coronavirus.