With the number of coronavirus patients rising around the world, children are being exposed to information and misinformation from many sources. How can parents best keep them up to date without terrifying them?

“Will I get sick?”

“Will my school close?”

“Will grandma or granddad die?”

Coronavirus is dominating the news and children, as always, are asking direct, difficult questions about what’s going to happen.

While the risk of young people being seriously affected by the virus appears low, doom-laden social media posts and playground rumours can induce panic.

Stories of deaths, possible food shortages and school closures, and the circulation of phrases like “pandemic potential” can add to a sense of alarm.

Keeping control

So tone is vital when discussing coronavirus with a child, advises Angharad Rudkin, clinical psychologist and consultant on

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