The North Hills School District encourages families to talk to their children about the virus.
Children need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of the disease, and concrete instruction about how to avoid its spread. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk can help reduce anxiety.
- Remain calm. If a parent seems overly worried, a child's anxiety may rise.
- Provide reassurance. Health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. Children are not high-risk and the majority of people with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover.
- Keep information simple and straightforward. Pittsburgh family physician and parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa suggests asking the child what he/she has heard and believes. This animated video from BrainPOP is also a good place to start.
- Find opportunities to correct misinformation. It's okay if you don’t know all the answers. Information is constantly changing. Please keep the dialogue with your child open.
- Reinforce that not one group is to blame. No group should be stereotyped as responsible for the virus, and bullying or racial discrimination will not be tolerated in our schools. This virus can affect anybody. This comic created by NPR can be a helpful tool.