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New UArizona toolkit to teach kids about coronavirus

A free resource for parents
COVID-19 Communication Toolkit for Parents and Teachers
Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:52:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona Public Health Department created a new online toolkit to guide parents on teaching their children about coronavirus.

This toolkit was created by Associate Professor of Health Promotion Sciences Trisha Haynes. She said it was a conversation with her daughter that started the idea.

"My daughter came home from school and had a cold, and it was a pretty miserable cold, she was pretty unhappy and she asked me if she had corona virus and was going to die," Haynes said.

Haynes said hearing her daughters fears made her realize their were probably many other kids thinking the same way as her.

Haynes said this is why she created an online resource for parents to find everything they need to make sure their child understands this pandemic.

“The first thing to do before having any kind of conversation with a child is to take a deep breathe and to make sure that when we are talking about we’re promoting a sense of calm," Haynes said.

The kit includes a comic strip Haynes said she got from NPR because it was the everyday conversations about coronavirus told in a way kids could understand.

comic 1 UA
Second half of UA comic strip

"I think what’s happening is that people are feeling anxious and I think feeling anxious is a natural reaction to a pandemic. Very few of us have ever been through this is our lifetimes before and it’s an unlearned experience," Haynes said. "Sometimes we give a lot of direction to kids like you need to do that you need to do this you need to hand wash and we think that that’s going to be enough to make a change in a child. Stop touching your face. Cover your sneeze or your nose."

This toolkit is free for parents or teachers to use. You can find the kit on the UArizona Public Health Department Website.