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Speaking to kids about coronavirus: convey calm and do not panic

Dr. Clare Cameron, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, says to shift the language you're going to use depending on the age of your child.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The thought of having to isolate yourself is scary. Warnings like this are making many adults feel anxious and on edge.

So how are children feeling? What's the best way to talk to your kids about the pandemic coronavirus? 

Dr. Clare Cameron, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, said the best thing to do is convey calm and not to panic. 

Cameron advises that you shift the language you're going to use depending on the age of your child. For example, if you have a child under 12, it would be appropriate to say something such as, "People are really concerned about germs because they don't want to get sick."

For older children, it might be OK to get on the computer with them and go to trusted sources, such as the Center for Disease Control's website, and go through some of the basic information together.

"They might even want to say, 'You know, there's a lot of talk about this, but not all of it is right, so let's talk about ... you know what is right and what doctors are telling us,' " Cameron said.

Cameron also advises that you limit how much media your child is consuming because some of the things they're seeing on the internet and social media or on television may worry them. 

Cameron also advised that if you are you drive home to your children how important it is to wash your hands and to go over techniques with them so they're prepared.

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