For children

Have you heard the word Coronavirus or COVID-19?

It's often mentioned on TV or the internet, and you may have heard the grown-ups in your home talking about it. You may even have talked about it with your teachers or friends at school.

Coronavirus is a bit like the flu – it's so tiny you need a microscope to see it. It can be hard to understand how something so small can cause so much change and uncertainty. But it's really important that you understand what coronavirus is so you can stay safe and healthy.

(PDF)

Download the document 'Understanding Coronavirus for kids (PDF)'

Go to the CREATE Foundation website to watch the cartoon series 'Gus talks COVID-19 with kids, for kids!' where Gus the Gorilla explains what coronavirus is and what it can mean for kids in care.

Support

Who can I talk to about coronavirus?

It's okay if you're feeling worried about coronavirus, and you may have lots of questions about what's happening at home or with school.

It's important to talk to a grown-up you trust — it could be your mum or dad, or another family member, your carer, your child safety officer, a support worker or a friend. They may not have all the answers straight away, but they can try to find the right information for you.

Operation Ouch – answering your questions about coronavirus

Coronavirus is affecting people across the world and everyone is making changes to try and stop the virus from spreading in their community. All of these changes can be confusing or even a little scary.

It's okay to feel worried or sad or frustrated about things. Think about when you felt like this before and what helped to make you feel better?

Even though the people around you might look or sound worried, it's ok to still have fun and play. The grown-ups will look after you and know what to do to keep you safe.

If anything needs to change, your child safety officer will talk with you about it first so you know what's happening.

Face to face contact

Can I still see my family?

If you're not living with your family, we know how important it is for you to stay in contact with your parents, your brothers or sisters and other family members you're close to. While we're trying to help stop coronavirus from spreading, we have to do things a little differently so you can still have contact with your family.

You may still be able to have visits with your parents and family, if it's safe for everyone to do this.

If it's not safe for family visits to happen in the same room, we'll make sure you stay in touch with your family, and other people who are important to you, in different ways. This could be talking with them over the phone or through video chats like Skype. You can even write letters or send pictures or drawings.

We know it's not the same as being together in the same room, but we need to make sure all the people in your life are safe and well, so we can keep you safe too. We hope this will only be for a short while, and then you can have visits together again.

Can I still see my school friends?

Yes. If you're not going to school, we'll find a way for you to connect with your classmates and teachers.

Will the department close down?

No. We're here to make sure you are safe and well and we'll keep doing that. Your child safety officer, or someone from the service centre who knows you, will stay in contact with you, your family and your carers. This may not be in person, but there are lots of other ways we will talk with you, like over the phone, with text messages or by Skype.

Staying healthy

Who will look after me if my carer gets coronavirus?

When grown-ups get sick, they usually still look after the children in their care. Because coronavirus is different to other colds and flu, if a grown-up gets the coronavirus, they need to stay away from others so they don't pass it on.

If your carer gets sick, they'll talk to all the people who care about you to make a plan. The grown-ups will work out the best way to help your carer and keep you safe and well. They'll talk to you so you know what's happening.

What happens if my family gets coronavirus?

If we find out someone from your family has coronavirus, we'll tell you what we know. We care about you and your family, so we'll try and find out who is helping them while they're sick and how you can stay in contact with them.

What happens if I get sick?

If you start to feel sick, you must tell your carer or a grown-up you trust, how you're feeling. A doctor will know if you need to have a special test done to find out if you have coronavirus.

The grown-ups who care about you, will look after you and know what to do to keep you safe.

There are some things you can do too, to keep safe and healthy. Things like washing your hands with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth with your elbow when you sneeze or cough, staying at home and keeping away from anyone who has a cough or cold.

Will things go back to normal?

It may not feel like it now, but staying at home and keeping away from other people, will not last forever. There are lots of doctors and scientists around the world who are working really hard to find out more about coronavirus and how to stop it from making people sick.

When it's safe, things will go back to the way they were. You'll be able to see your family and friends, go to school and do all the fun things outside the house the way you used to.