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Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak

World Health Organisation


Children may respond to stress in different ways such
as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or
agitated, bedwetting etc.

Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way,
listen to their concerns and give them extra love and


Children need adults’ love and attention during
difficult times. Give them extra time and attention.

Remember to listen to your children, speak kindly
and reassure them.

If possible, make opportunities for the child to
play and relax.


Try and keep children close to their parents and family
and avoid separating children and their caregivers to the
extent possible. If separation occurs (e.g. hospitalization)
ensure regular contact (e.g. via phone) and re-assurance.


Keep to regular routines and schedules as much
as possible, or help create new ones in a new
environment, including school/learning as well as
time for safely playing and relaxing.


Provide facts about what has happened, explain what is
going on now and give them clear information about how
to reduce their risk of being infected by the disease in
words that they can understand depending on their age.

This also includes providing information about what
could happen in a re-assuring way (e.g. a family member
and/or the child may start not feeling well and may have
to go to the hospital for some time so doctors can help
them feel better).