“Is this going to affect me, or mom and dad?” Teaching kids about COVID-19, other illnesses

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School administrators say that prevention begins with good habits practiced in the home

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many in the country are concerned about COVID-19 coming into their community, including children.

As people stock up in medical masks and hand sanitizer, the worrying of adults and the attention in the media can cause a child to think something bad may happen to them.

“The thing they always want to know is, ‘Do I have to worry? Is this going to affect me, or mom and dad? Is that going to affect you?'” said Joe Shorokey, CEO of Alta Care Group.

Alta Care Group specializes in children and family well-being. Shorokey said when it comes to having a conversation about the coronavirus, address the issues with age-appropriate language and answer all of their questions.

“We need to let kids know that there are a lot of different illnesses and viruses and bugs out there that people can catch, and over time we and our medical professionals learn how to address them–whether it’s polio or other illnesses–and we will with this one too,” Shorokey said.

If kids or parents begin to worry about sickness at school, administrators say that prevention begins with good habits practiced in the home.

“To ease their mind, as long as their doing their part, then they will make a big impact on the rest of the school,” said nursing supervisor Kenyetta Burr.

Basic hygiene is the best way to help stop the spread of viruses, but it is also a good way to make kids feel like they are doing something to help the problem.

“It’s one child at a time. If one child does what they need to do as far as preventing it, then they can spread it to the next one,” Burr said.

For more information, visit cdc.gov.

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