Iowa parents may be wrestling with how to talk to their kids about coronavirus. Shelby Kroona, director of the Hamilton County Public Health Department, says moms and dads need to reassure their children with facts about the outbreak and -not- subject them to sudden changes in their schedules.
“Keep your children’s activities really consistent and normal,” Kroona says. “Don’t let the anxiety interrupt what you would normally do with your children and allow them to express their feelings.”
She says young children may be confused about the virus and what threat they may or may not be facing.
“Ask them if they’ve heard about this,” Kroona says. “They might be hearing it at school because they may be being told to wash their hands more frequently or wipe their desks off at school and they may not understand why we are doing this now.”
While being upfront about the facts, she also suggests parents limit the scope of what their kids are seeing on national news broadcasts.
“Maybe turning off the 4, 5 and 6 o’clock news and then catching up at 10 when the children are in bed just so they’re not constantly bombarded,” Kroona says. “It is on every news channel as the lead story anymore.”
Some Iowa churches are advising parishoners against holding hands during prayers, handshaking and participating in communion. The Des Moines Catholic Diocese has issued an advisory to its ministers about the disease.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)