With most U.S. states closing K–12 schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children are home, their lives turned upside-down. Lots of questions are likely swirling through their heads, as they wonder when they'll ever get to start playing with friends and stop hearing the constant "Wash your hands!" from caregivers. To help give your children a better understanding of the coronavirus that is causing such havoc, Live Science created this "just for kids" infographic.
We hope parents and teachers can use it to help explain a complex situation, while also teaching kids about the wonders of science.
If asked how this virus gets into a person, you can scroll down to the cartoon characters highlighting the fact that teensy virus globs are tucked inside snot, so when a person sneezes or coughs, that yucky virus-holding snot gets flung across a table, say, and right onto your hand or mouth. Once inside a person, that virus multiplies and can make a person sick.
Another question: Why do we have to stay indoors and not make any play dates? You can explain how the virus spreads with this graphic and also explain why it's so important to "slow" this spread (without using confusing terms). For instance, the phrase "flattening the curve" has been visualized in lots of ways, primarily ways that make adults say "aha!" but not so illustrative for kids. To explain to kids, it's best to show them how doctors can care for only a certain number of people and if that group of sick people gets too big, it's hard for doctors to keep up.
For more kid-friendly information on the coronavirus, check out our "ultimate kids guide to the coronavirus." And here's a round-up of activities and online resources for homebound kids.
Originally published on Live Science.