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How to talk to kids about COVID-19 (and why it’s important you do)

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The nanotechnologist and science educator who persuaded Jacinda Ardern to hold a COVID-19 press conference for kids says keeping children in the dark about the coronavirus does more harm than good.

Michelle Dickinson says if parents don’t tell their kids about COVID-19, they’ll learn about it from their friends.

“Kids are really receptive, they are picking up things all over the place and if they’re not learning from you they’re going to be learning from their friends and usually the bogeyman becomes really big when their friends start talking about it,” she told Ross and Russel.

“Parents who haven’t talked to their children about COVID-19, actually their kids have increased levels of stress, because they don’t have that assurance from their parents.”

Ms Dickinson said telling kids about COVID-19 also helps get them on board with health measures to stop the spread of the virus.

“When you talk to your kids about coronavirus … your kids feel empowered to actually keep their environment safe and know what behaviours will keep their family safe,” she said.

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