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Answering Kids’ Questions About The Coronavirus

March 9, 2020


(light upbeat music) – Hi, I’m Webb. I’ve been having some questions
about the coronavirus. I will be asking Dr. Williams and Dr. Rao. – Hi, I’m Jason Williams. I’m a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. – I’m Suchitra Rao, one of the pediatric
infectious diseases doctors and hospital medicine physicians at Children’s Hospital Colorado. – What is the coronavirus? – Coronavirus is a type of germ, a virus, that can cause people to have
a cold, so runny nose, cough. And in some people, it can
cause some more severe symptoms like trouble breathing. So, coronavirus is just a
name for a family of viruses. So, there are a bunch of
different coronaviruses and there are some that we see every year that can cause respiratory infections during the winter months. So, what you’re hearing
a lot about in the news and then amongst your family and friends is a new type of coronavirus that they detected around late last year that is causing, again,
some mild infections, but also some more serious infections too. – Is there a cure? – Right now, we really don’t
have a cure for the coronavirus that’s circulating that
everybody is talking about. And in fact, that’s actually true of a lotta the respiratory viruses that we are seeing right now
during those winter months. And so, that’s just
because it’s really hard to have treatments for viruses, just because they can hide
from the body so well. So, there’s a bunch of
scientists right now that are actively trying to look into ways to be able to treat the virus. And what’s really important
for this type of infection is to try and develop a vaccine to use to try and prevent
people from getting sick. So, there’s a bunch of scientists that are working on
treatments for that as well. – Is it safe to wear a mask? – So, it is absolutely
safe to wear a mask, but it may not really be necessary
to wear a mask right now. So, you may be seeing a lot of people that are out and about that are
wearing masks at the moment, but it is not something
that we’re recommending that you or your family need to do. So, when you usually see
people wearing masks, it tends to be in a hospital
or a clinic setting. And the reason why people do
that is because if you’re sick, it’s a way of preventing somebody else from catching that sickness,
but it’s also a really good way that doctors and nurses and people who are working in hospitals can prevent spreading an infection from one person to another. So, while you might be seeing
a lotta people wearing them, again, you really don’t need
to be telling your mom and dad to go out and buy boxes of masks because we really don’t
need to be doing that out in the community. And we also wanna make sure that we have enough masks available for those doctors and nurses and people that do work
in the hospital settings who really do need them. – Will school be canceled? Why? – One of the things
that we wanna make sure is that we’re protecting
everybody’s health. And one of the ways to do that is not to have people who are sick come into contact with
a lot of other people. And one of the places that that happens, very naturally, is at a school. And so, we’d be talking
with medical professionals and your principal and other school folks about what we need to do to
make sure that people stay safe, and that might include canceling school. Hopefully it’s for a short time and that we get back to our
routine as quickly as possible. – Is it safe to go
outside with other kids? – We wanna make sure that things
stay as normal as possible in your life, and that includes
playing with your friends. And what we would encourage you to do is maybe not do the high-fives that you might do on the playground. We know the virus goes
from one person to another through contact. So, not having high-fives
might be something to do. Maybe do some elbow bumps instead. And then, really, to keep a fair distance between you and your friends
so that when you’re playing, you’re not playing games that
might have closer contact. So, keeping three feet or
so away from each other would be important to try to do. – Will Grandma and Grandpa be okay? – We do know that the virus actually can impact folks
that are a little older, so we wanna make sure that you’re staying as
healthy as you possibly can. And if you do get sick or
are feeling ill in any way or any of your family
members are feeling ill, is not to be around Grandma
and Grandpa for a little while. The other thing that’s
really important to do, make sure you’re washing those
hands so when you do visit, even if you’re feeling good, good hand hygiene and making
sure everything is clean before your visit will
be really important. – What about my little brother? – The good news is that we haven’t seen as many illnesses with
some of our younger kids. And so, the coronavirus
does impact everybody and it impacts our
families in different ways. So, what we would encourage
you to do again there is maybe work with your little brother, do some hand hygiene games, and to make sure things
are clean in the house so you guys can be in
control of your health and in your environment, and
that may help you feel better about not worrying about
your family member. – What happens if I get sick? – One important thing to
remember is if you do get sick over this time of year, it’s
still gonna be more likely that you are sick with one
of these colds and viruses that we always just see this time of year. And so, if that is the case, it’s usually good to stay home from school and to try to not be
around a bunch of people so that you don’t get
any other people sick. And that way, you can rest and recover and start feeling better. If you are not feeling well, you really do wanna let
your mom and dad know, and they can decide if you
need to go and see your doctor. If you are sick, getting
lots of rest, eating well, trying to stay hydrated
with drinking lots of drinks is a really good way to try
and recover and get better. So, in terms of when you do get sick, you might be coughing, you
might be sneezing a lot. So, remember that when you do that, being really good about
washing your hands. And so, that means for
at least 20 seconds, making lots of bubbles and
foam when you wash your hands. And for your little brother, you can tell him that if he’s a big fan of the Baby Shark song, that that would be getting
up to about Daddy Shark. Hand sanitizer is always really good if you don’t have soap and water around, and just remembering when those times are that you wanna be washing your hands. So, for sure after you use the bathroom, for sure before you eat anything, and then if you have been
coughing and sneezing and using a tissue and blowing your nose, that’s always a good time as well. So, remember, with tissues, you wanna be throwing those
out as soon as you use them. So, if you can try and avoid sharing cups, sharing spoons and forks and knives and sharing food with others, that’s always another
really good way as well. So, these are just some simple things that you and your family can do just to make sure that you don’t spread any sort of infection to others. – Can we still go on our trip to Mexico? – What we do know is that
there are some places that are recommended to
not travel to right now, just because they are seeing a lot of coronavirus infections
happening in those places. While we know that there are some places that are very safe to travel
to now, some things may change. And as we know more about the virus and where it’s circulating, there may be other countries
that do pop on that list of places that are better
not to travel to right now. So just, before making any travel plans, it’s always good to look at that list and then discuss with your family if you wanna delay that trip or continue to go ahead as planned. – I hope you enjoyed the video. Thank you Dr. Williams
and thank you Dr. Rao for telling me about the coronavirus.

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