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Posted Friday, March 20th, 2020

We Need Our Kids to Understand and Help, Too

As public conversations around coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increase, children in Morris County and the region may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill. COVID-19: Q&A for Children and Families in Morris County

It is important to help our kids make sense of what they hear about this situation in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear.

The Morris County Office of Health Management has created a basic Q&A for our younger residents, and one that also may guide adults in having conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.

“We need the help of the younger residents of Morris County to help their families and our county right now. So, I ask our kids to read these questions and answers, and ask your parents if you need to know more,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Deborah Smith.

COVID-19 Question & Answer for Children

Q: What is the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: A highly contagious respiratory disease. It was discovered in China in December 2019 and has since spread around the world.

Q: How is this virus spread?
A: From person-to-person

Q: What is my risk, as a child, to become infected with (COVID-19)?
A: Children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

Q: How can I protect myself from (COVID-19)?

  • Clean your hands often using soap and water    COVID-19: Q&A for Children and Families in Morris County
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Stay home from school
  • Clean frequently touched objects

Q: What do I need to know about handwashing?
A: Please watch this very informative video the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created.

Q: Should I wear a mask?
A: No, not if you are currently healthy.

Q: How can I cope/ deal with (COVID-19)?

  • Take a break from listening to the news
  • Stretch
  • Meditate
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Exercise
  • Connect with others (online)

Q: How can I keep busy now that my school has closed and I am at home?

  • Complete and submit all assignments in a timely manner that your teachers have assigned you
  • Stay active – walk around the block, ride a bike, do at-home workouts
  • Socialize with your friends (online) · Visit for free, educational resources

Also, from the CDC:

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Get children into a handwashing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.