COVID-19 infections are surging. So are kids’ fears

How to help children cope with ongoing pandemic anxiety

The first time Melanie Randall’s seven-year-old daughter saw her teacher during a pre-recorded video lesson last spring, she began to cry—she was scared that her teacher was sick. The initial shock was hard, but with time, she understood what was happening.

So when Randall learned that experts were forecasting a nationwide COVID-19 surge this winter, she wanted to protect her two kids from re-experiencing the distress of another seismic shift. She decided the best approach was to set up realistic expectations: Cases are going up, and that means the family has to hunker down at home awhile longer.

“My kids and I have open conversations,” she says. “I don't want to seal them off from outside events, because this is our world, and they have to adjust to it.”

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