Helping Children Under Age Five Understand the Current Situation
Young children will not understand lengthy explanations. Children 3 to 5 years can begin to understand that there is a germ spreading that is making people sick. One simple response is to tell them there is a germ making people sick and we have to do things differently to stay safe and help prevent the germ from spreading to others. It's important to let children know that adults are doing everything they can to keep them safe.
All the questions and possible answers below are from the following website: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3265-answering-your-young-child-s-questions-about-coronavirus
Question: Why is that person wearing a mask?
Possible Answer: "Sometimes people wear masks when they aren't feeling well or to help keep them safe so they won't get sick."
Question: Why do I have to wear a mask?
Possible Answer: "You have to wear a mask around other people to make sure germs don't get on your face. Also, we don't want you to spread your germs to other people."
Question: Will I get sick?
Possible Answer: "Everybody gets sick sometimes. If you get sick, Mama/Dada will take care of you until you are all better. The doctors will help you, too."
Question: Why can't my friend come over to play?
Possible Answer: "Right now, there is a rule that families need to stay home for a little while. That helps us and our friends stay healthy. I know it can be sad when we can't see and play with friends.
Question: Why won't Grandpa (or other loved one) kiss or hug me?
Possible Answer: Reassure child that his/her loved one still loves and cares about them very much. Then you can explain: "When a grown-up has a cold, they can keep others from getting sick by not hugging or kissing for a while. When they feel better and are healthy again, the first thing they'll do is give you a big kiss!"
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