When discussing COVID-19 with children, try to keep information simple and remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be OK, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.
What can I do so that I don’t get COVID-19?
You can practice healthy habits at home and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19:
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the trash right away.
Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow these five steps — wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
If you don’t have soap and water, have an adult help you use a special hand cleaner.
Keep things clean. Older children can help adults at home clean the things we touch the most, like desks, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. (Note for adults: you can find more information about cleaning and disinfecting on CDC’s website.)
If you feel sick, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either.
What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?
COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems. From what doctors have seen so far, most children don’t seem to get very sick. While a lot of adults get sick, most adults get better.
If you do get sick, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What’s important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home and school will help get you any help that you need.
If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call the health-care facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them.
Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases
Protect yourself and others
You can take steps to protect yourself and others during a COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
• Clean your hands often.
• Avoid close contact.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Do NOT use a face mask meant for a health-care worker.
• Cover coughs and sneezes.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
For more details and to view this information in other languages online, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.