How Nannies Should Talk to Kids About Covid-19

Be a Calm Caregiver

My youngest Nanny Kid came home crying from school because other children told her the coronavirus was just half an hour away. She thought the virus was traveling to her town and would arrive in half an hour. Then a nanny friend admitted she told her Nanny Kid the number of people that have died from the virus.

Clearly young students are hearing information about Covid-19 from the television, from other children, and from adults talking about the outbreak in their presence.

Therefore, I urge nannies to carefully control what information they share with the children in their care and turn off the television when they kids are home. Stop talking about fears of coronavirus around them.

It is important that caregivers protect children from misinformation. Nannies should only share age-appropriate facts about the outbreak and how they can remain healthy.

Although we shouldn’t act frantic, we also should not be dismissive to their feelings either. Whether speaking to children or adults, their anxiety is real. Ignoring their feelings won’t help them successfully stop worrying about the outbreak. Just calmly sharing basic facts, as often as they show concern, can help ease their anxiety.

It’s not just the words we use that affects the children in our care. Children react to the emotional language of their caregivers too. If you stay calm, it will help them from worrying in any ambiguous circumstance.

To ease your own nerves, while remaining informed, pick just one reliable news source to get information about the coronavirus — such as coronavirus.gov.

Then, resist the urge to look at social media and turn off the television so you don’t get overwhelmed.

4 Simple Facts About Covid-19 to Share With Children:

1. Wash your hands properly and thoroughly:

Urge the children to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.

2. Don’t touch your face:

Explain to children that they can’t get sick through their skin. The virus can only get them sick if it enters their nose or mouth (and possibly the eyes).

3. Properly sneeze and cough so you don’t get others sick:

Teach children to sneeze and cough into a tissue, throw out the tissue, and wash their hands. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough into their elbow, rather than their hand.

4. Children have mild symptoms if they get sick from this virus:

The CDC reports that children that have contracted the virus have only shown very mild symptoms. Children that contract the virus will likely just feel like they have a cold of flu. Explain to your Nanny Kids if they do get sick they will stay home from school to recover — just like they do anytime they get sick.

Click here to see current information about Covid-19 in children.

If we model and encourage good hygiene, remain calm, and share age-appropriate facts about staying healthy, it will help ease children’s fears about contracting the coronavirus. And just turn off the news in their presence!

Trackbacks

  1. […] pandemic with children. If children ask questions about the Coronavirus, parents and nannies should follow these tips I shared earlier this week about staying calm and having age-appropriate conversations […]

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