NewsLocal News


Tips for talking to kids about new COVID-19 variant

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 7:39 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 08:39:27-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mental health experts are giving advice on how to talk to kids about the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Christina Low Kapalu, a child psychologist at Children's Mercy Hospital, has five key tips for talking about COVID-19:

  1. Practice self-care and check in with your own reactions so they don't transfer to your child and go over what you want to say.
  2. See what your child knows about the new variant before telling them about it.
  3. Admit what you know and don't know about Omicron.
  4. Consider your child's developmental level and simplify the information if you need to.
  5. Talk about a layered approach to safety.

"I like to use the analogy of when it's raining what to do if you want to go outside. So we might need to take some steps to stay dry. We might need to put on a raincoat or use our boots or have an umbrella or a parka and that all of those things together allow us to go out in the rain. So we can use that layered protection against managing this new journey," Kapalu explained.

Children's Mercy has several resources available, including parent-child interactive training, behavioral services and have psychiatric nurse practitioners.

They also offer a program to help parents and teens called Prepped and Ready.