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How to talk with your kids about coronavirus

One local health leader said it's important to talk with our kids about those bad things that impact our health, including the coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 8:36 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 3:41 PM

FOUNTAIN WARREN COUNTIES, Ind. (WLFI) - No matter how hard we try, we can't always protect our kids from all the bad things in the world. That's why one local health leader said it's important to talk with our kids about those bad things that impact our health, including the coronavirus.

"Some parents can think it's scary," said Dr. Sean Sharma, Health Officer at the Fountain Warren Health Department. "I think it's eye opening and it's putting kids in touch with their world."

Dr. Sharma also has three young boys. He said he got his camera out after he heard his three young boys talking about coronavirus before bed time.

"I said hey, let me ask you some questions because I was curious what their take was," he said.

"So what is COVID-19?" he asks. "Coronavirus!" they all reply.

"What can you do to protect yourselves from coronavirus?" he asks "Wash your hands! Don't go anywhere!" they say back.

"I was surprised at how well they were able to answer my questions," he said. I didn't do any prep for it at all. Their responses show me that they are aware of what's going on and they are listening."

Which is why he said it's important to have candid conversations with your child about this pandemic. 

Melissa Luebbe from West Lafayette said this disease has completely changed the daily routine of her boys, who are seven and five years old.

"They don't go to school, we can't go see friends, we don't have play dates, they know we can't go to stores and all those things because of the coronavirus," she said.

For her and her husband, it's about setting a good example.

"We are doing our best to be calm and present and to answer any questions they may have, but also not to speak in a fearful way," she said. "But we want to answer in a way that's age appropriate."

Dr. Sharma has a tip for that.

"I encourage parents to answer it as best they can using facts," he said.

One reassuring fact you can tell you kids from the CDC is that children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults.

Another good fact for kids, only 1.6% of all positive cases in Indiana are between the ages of zero and 19, and there have been zero deaths reported in that age group. That's according to the Indiana State Health Department's latest numbers.

Dr. Sharma sat down with his kids and showed them a map so they could see China and Indiana and how far the virus had traveled.

"We took a road trip to Arkansas once and I told them it would take us 10 trips to Arkansas, there and back, to cover the distance between here and China," he said. "It helped put the distance in a way they could understand and relate to."

And there has been no better time to teach the importance of good hygiene habits.

"Wash your hands! Keep away from other people! And if you have it you should stay in your house," said Dr. Sharma's son, Sage, in the video.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 164581

Reported Deaths: 4143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26055792
Lake14436358
St. Joseph9606168
Elkhart9271138
Allen8647231
Hamilton6400115
Vanderburgh617162
Tippecanoe396715
Porter347550
Hendricks3418134
Monroe335638
Johnson3286130
Delaware311575
Clark306263
Vigo275340
Madison250896
LaPorte239261
Cass229724
Warrick205065
Kosciusko201127
Floyd187468
Howard169466
Bartholomew147958
Marshall147428
Dubois146426
Wayne142031
Grant133539
Henry133030
Boone129150
Hancock124744
Noble122935
Jackson121018
Dearborn103128
Morgan100340
Lawrence96838
Gibson94412
Clinton92416
Daviess92334
Shelby90632
LaGrange82815
Knox81810
Harrison81024
Posey7767
Putnam77616
Fayette76719
DeKalb76011
Jasper6885
Miami6715
Steuben6608
Montgomery63122
White62316
Greene57838
Adams5607
Scott55413
Decatur52839
Ripley4838
Whitley4836
Clay4617
Sullivan45714
Wells45611
Huntington4455
Starke4438
Wabash4439
Orange42425
Spencer4176
Randolph39210
Jennings38713
Washington3873
Franklin38325
Fulton3785
Perry36914
Jefferson3655
Pike35718
Carroll34313
Jay3386
Fountain3293
Tipton28423
Vermillion2721
Parke2564
Rush2464
Blackford2394
Newton23711
Owen2151
Martin2050
Pulaski1783
Crawford1631
Brown1473
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1130
Switzerland980
Warren911
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COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

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