What to tell your kids about the coronavirus pandemic

Child and adolescent family therapist Dr. Darby Fox explained on Friday how parents should talk to their children about the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview on "Fox & Friends First," Fox said parents should give children information that "they can handle" and are asking about, depending on their age.

For kids 5 or 6 years old, Fox said parents should reassure them that they will be OK and to emphasize how important it is to wash their hands often. For children 7 to 10 years old, Fox said they will perceive anxiety by adults and will naturally be more curious.

"They pick up on that. The less news you give them, the more worried they will be. Explain that people like the doctors and scientists will help us, that we will take care of this," she advised.


Fox said for preteens, more science-based information is better. She said she would stress that the virus has not been spreading among younger people and that 80 percent of cases involved milder symptoms.

"It is important to give science to those who can understand it," said Fox.

Eighty percent of those who are infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) will have cases involving mild symptoms, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said Thursday.

In an interview on "America's Newsroom" with hosts Ed Henry and Sandra Smith, Jasarevic said that his advice to the American public during the pandemic is the same for "every person on this planet."

"There are basic things you can do to protect yourself, to protect your community," he explained.

"First: hand hygiene. We know how this virus is being transmitted. We know that you will get infected by introducing the virus through your nose, mouth, ear. And, that will happen most likely by touching your face with your hands after you have picked up the virus on some surface," Jasarevic said.


"If you are coughing, if you have a fever, if you feel tired, and you think that you have been exposed to COVID-19, stay at home. We know that 80 percent of the people who are infected will have a mild disease that may go through — the person can go through the disease just by staying home and protecting others."

Fox said if schools are closed in the area, older children should not be going to malls or out with their friends but instead practice "social distancing," especially for children who live with their grandparents.