How to explain Coronavirus to a child?
17.07.2020 | Gustavo Silva
Explain to me as if I were ten years old. This is a phrase that helps a lot when synthesizing ideas and passing on the information because when we teach something to a child we need to be didactic, interesting, and have a single clear message.

With the return to school approaching the children have to not only know that they have to wash their hands periodically but, more importantly, they need to understand the reason for so much zeal and care, always taking due care not to traumatize them.

4 things to pay attention while talking with kids about COVID-19

  • Find out what the child already knows about;

Is likely that the kid already knows something about it and this can drive the direction of the conversation. You can avoid numbers of infected or death, this can generate unnecessary fear.

  • Speak the truth in clear and simple language, without alarm;

Using a very simple and clear language explain that it is a new virus that still does not have a vaccine for it but the treatment is being researched. Thus, good hygiene habits are our best allies.
This is a good moment to underline the importance of healthy habits and food.

  • Give essential hygiene care;

Guide your kid in how to wash properly their hands. To not touch mouth, eyes, and nose. We all need to avoid hugs and kisses during this time. Pay attention to the child's speech. Listen carefully to the kid. Is natural for them to be scared, reinforce that they are safe.

Orient them to seek the family when they will have questions. Always avoiding news from the internet, social networks, or friends. In addition to these points, a good idea is to use specialized media that already speak with children.

I remember how I learned about the importance of washing my hands. In my case, it was not with my parents, but with a cartoon.
The movie Osmosis Jones by the Warner Brothers Studio, whose image illustrates the cover of this article, is an excellent drawing that has this appeal in language and that can explain how to prevent and how to fight a virus.

In this story, a man who does not care about his health ends up being contaminated with a lethal virus. Meanwhile, inside his body, his white cells (which are the police of the human body) come together with medicine to fight this villain.

Although such a movie can create a playful environment that explains this fight between viruses and antibodies, it does not translate it to children of all ages. Little 4,5,6-year-olds need a more simplified way so that they can understand the reason for this precaution of washing their hands regularly.

Virtual reality can be a great way to explain to a child how a virus works and how to protect itself.
The film Friends is exactly about this. This is a movie from Altairika in virtual reality. It tells the story of 3 friends who shrink and learn from inside the human body of how the immune system works. This animation in VR has an indication and language designed for children from 4 years old.

In addition to addressing a very important issue in a ludic and simple way, this animation has the advantage of Virtual Reality. This means that instead of children just watching, as in the case of the other movie, they will feel immersed, part of the story. What they learn in the film Friends will be absorbed as an experience and the learning will be complete.

In conclusion, this is an extremely and important issue for everyone. We need to be creative and simple when it comes to talking with children. Addressing the topic after one of these animations creates a perfect environment for that message to be absorbed and thus avoid panic and make them understand that they need to take care of themselves.

To learn more about Virtual Reality education you can access the Altairika website.
Original publication in Portuguese.

Authors BIO
Gustavo Silva is a professional focused on education in order to help educators and entrepreneurs to bring innovation into schools. As a business developer, his goals are to bring technologies to learn facilities, to provide a sector analysis of the education market, and to develop virtual reality in education. Outside the office, Gustavo enjoys writing short stories, gardening, and strategic games.

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