Discussing coronavirus with children

Date Published: 
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Nicola Woollaston discusses how to talk to children about  COVID-19, strategies to diffuse anxiety for different age groups, and ideas that can be implemented in homes to create calm and supportive environments.



  • Infants and toddlers - supporting this age group and their parents.
  • Pre-schoolers - how to explain things to this age group?
  • Explaining COVID-19 to younger school aged child (6-12 years).
  • Youth and young adults.
  • Techniques to help children manage stress and worry.
  • Managing the transition between lockdown and back to educational facilities.


Take home messages

  • Keep it simple.
  • When it comes to COVID-19 ask children what they know.
  • Routines are important.
  • Give back some control for kids who feel overwhelmed.
  • The power of positive touch.





Nicola Woollaston
Registered teacher, certified child life specialist

Nicola Woollaston is a registered teacher, a certified child life specialist and a registered hospital play specialist.  Team Leader of the Hospital Play Service at Starship Hospital and president of the Hospital Play Specialist Association Aotearoa/NZ.  She has 4 children at home and is very aware of the stressors and challenges of balancing work, children and living in uncertainty.




Recognition of Learning Activities

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RNZCGP website


This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.