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Public Health Sudbury & Districts

It's important to be well-informed and to be up to date with the latest information when addressing the issue of COVID-19 with your children.

That from the experts as the virus continues to pose a threat in several parts of the world.

"There's a lot of information that's going around that kids are hearing from their friends or other adults in their lives so our role as adults is really to filter that information to them in a fact based way so that they're equipped with the information that they need to have so they feel comfortable," said Brenna Eastwick, a public health nurse with Public Health Sudbury and Districts. "So just a couple things you can do is make sure you're informed on that factual information."

Eastick says parents should then take some time to reflect on the information, talk to them about what they know and let them guide their conversation.

"A conversation that you would have with a kindergartner you would really let them guide that conversation so even just say have you heard this before, what are you hearing at school and then instead of just overloading them on information, see what they know and let that guide the conversation," Eastick added. "And with an older child, ask them the same thing, what are you hearing at school, what are some concerns you might have and then to reassure them with some fact-based information."

She says the goal in any conversation is to empower them with things they can do for themselves.

The Health Unit is recommending to people that they wash their hands and cough into their sleeves in an effort to reduce any risk of transmitting viruses.

Karen Morgan is a mother of one and also teaches young children. She's had to deal with some of those questions first-hand.

"Tryin' to wash our hands a lot and do all those things they've instructed us to do on the news like cough in a Kleenex and stay clean and everywhere I go there, they're wiping my cart handle and checking me at the doctor's clinic before I go in," she said. "And there is a lot of anxiety that's created amongst young kids cause they see it on the news and they're scared is this gonna get me, so there's a lot of explaining."

Overall, experts say the best move is to make sure you have all the facts. Public Health Sudbury and District is posting regular updates online so if this escalates, parents can be armed with the latest information.