COVID-19 Information for Students and Teachers of Young Children

Information for Preschool Teachers: Supporting Young Children


Focus on communicating good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands. See more on how to avoid the risk of infection here.

One of the best ways to keep children safe from coronavirus and other diseases is to simply encourage regular handwashing, for at least 20 seconds. It doesn't need to be a scary conversation.

Develop a way to track how children are washing their hands and find ways to reward them for frequent/timely hand washing.

Use puppets or dolls to demonstrate symptoms (sneezing, coughing, fever), what to do if children feel sick (like if their head hurts, their stomach hurts, or if they feel hot or extra tired), and how to comfort someone who is sick (cultivating empathy and safe caring behaviors).

When it’s circle time, have children sit farther apart from one another by practicing stretching their arms out or ‘flapping their wings’ – they should keep enough space between each other so that they are not touching their friends.

Supporting Children's Well-Being: Mindful Exercises

UNICEF Do's and Dont's for Talking about COVID-19

DO: talk about the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

DON’T: attach locations or ethnicity to the disease. Remember, viruses can’t target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.

DO: talk about “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, “people who are recovering from COVID-19” or “people who died after contracting COVID-19”

DON’T: refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases” or “victims”

DO: talk about people “acquiring” or “contracting” COVID-19

DON’T: talk about people “transmitting COVID-19” “infecting others” or “spreading the virus” as it implies intentional transmission and assigns blame.

DO: speak accurately about the risk from COVID-19, based on scientific data and latest official health advice

DON’T: repeat or share unconfirmed rumors, and avoid using hyperbolic language designed to generate fear like “plague”, “apocalypse” etc.

DO: talk positively and emphasize the importance of effective prevention measures, including following our tips on handwashing. For most people this is a disease they can overcome. There are simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable safe.

Self-Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak

It is natural to feel anxiety during this current challenge – the following are self-care tips from Nevada Today.

Tip# 1: Notice and accept how you feel. Sometimes we may judge our reactions in a negative way, but emotions are there for a reason: trying to mobilize us to keep us safe or protect others. So, acknowledging one’s reactions in a non-judgmental manner is always warranted (e.g., “I am having a lot of worrisome thoughts.”)

Tip # 2: Do what’s effective. What we DO in response to emotions should be considered relative to what’s effective for that particular situation. In this case, following CDC guidelines such as hand washing, not touching one’s faces and engaging in physical social distancing when warranted, are effective. Isolating emotionally from those you care about and allowing oneself to become hopeless is not.

Tip # 3: Take a break from worrying/planning. Sometimes our minds tell us “to do something,” but some things are out of our control. When a particular worry pops up, ask yourself: “Is this under my control right now?” and if the answer is no, try to do something to help you take a break from worrying. The following resource may be helpful:

Tip # 4: Engage in healthy coping. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member in a healthy manner. Surround yourself with individuals who bring you some comfort. Avoid panic, it can be contagious.

  • Take care of your body: exercise, dance, eat something healthy, sleep, avoid ingesting substances.
  • Improve your sense of mastery by taking care of even small things: clean your room, send an email to a friend/family member or to your professor, etc.
  • Turn to hobbies that fit the circumstances… reading a book you have had on the shelf for a while, knitting, playing an instrument, or coloring.

Tip # 5: Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.

Tip # 6: Trust your sources. If you are going to read about it, make sure that the information you are receiving is from a legitimate source, such as:

Caring for the Community: What is Social Distancing and Why is It Important?

From John Hopkins University: Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It can include large-scale measures like canceling group events or closing public spaces, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds.

With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as "flattening the curve," which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm health care systems.

Tips for Social Distancing

Remember: it is each of our responsibility to try and flatten the curve.

Tips for Social Distancing in the Home

  • Stay home
  • Don’t go out in public when you’re sick
  • Avoid medical settings unless necessary
  • Give 6 feet of space from others
  • Wave instead of shaking hands
  • Practice excellent personal hygiene

Tips for Social Distancing at Work

  • Work in ways that minimize close contact
  • Minimize groups over 10
  • Encourage telecommuting
  • Clean your workspace frequently
Created By
Johnna Darragh


Created with images by Sherman Yang - "Snowy wooden bridge…" • Nick Fewings - "untitled image" • Luke Chesser - "Light blue to purple gradient" • steffi harms - "I took this picture in my dog’s pool." • Samuel Scrimshaw - "untitled image" • Steve Johnson - "abstract painting" • Matt Botsford - "End of the Road"