Main Content

Resources for talking with kids about coronavirus


Listening to the news, or overhearing grown-ups talk may cause children anxiety or fear about the coronavirus. The challenge for us as a parent, teacher or other trusted grown-up is to make sure we understand what we are trying to explain before talking to them. Several trusted medical organizations are providing accurate and continually updated information about the coronavirus so that citizens and their families can stay as informed and healthy as possible.

We have identified some materials from these trusted experts that are especially helpful when speaking to children. We have also included below a booklist of titles that may serve as comfortable conversation starters for children, titles that you can find either free online or through our ebook service hoopla.

The main messages about the coronavirus are consistent:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. (Sing a single complete verse of Old MacDonald or the ABC song lasts about 20 seconds.)

3. Wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or after being in public spaces. (Like the library! Also wash them after reading library books!)

Resources to Help Talk to Children:

Fact sheets and FAQs designed especially for use with children are available from

Books and online resources

(free online resources) 

H is for Handwashing

H is for Hand Washing is an online storybook from Sesame Street that introduces young children to the universal experience of hand washing by sharing how kids wash their hands all over the world. A printable "How to Wash Your Hands" Elmo coloring sheet is also available.

A Comic about Coronavirus

For older children there is A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus based on a radio story on NPR. Experts at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and the National Institute of Mental Health all contributed to the making of the comic.

(from hoopla)

Keeping Clean

How Handwashing can Save the World 

Flu Pandemic of 1918


I got the flu, what is influenza?

Websites How to talk to your kids about coronavirus  Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children

Kids Health from Nemours How to talk to your kids about COVID-19

Websites for grownups

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, including fighting diseases and supporting communities and citizens to do the same.

World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO works worldwide to promote health and safety by identifying and responding to health emergencies, especially in vulnerable communities.

What is social distancing and how can it help - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

Some information provided courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library.