10 Best Ways to Educate Your Child About COVID-19

By Dr J Celese Beaudreau 2020-02-18 19:49:47

Dr J Celese Beaudreau at Jiahui Health discusses the 10 best ways to educate your child about COVID-19


As news of the 2019 Coronavirus, a new flu-like illness named COVID-19 by the WHO, spreads and the situation rapidly continues to change and evolve, this has understandably encouraged fear and put many people on edge; especially those that are the parents of young children. As a paediatrician and parent of four young children, I can sympathise and relate to this fear. What I would like to point out, however, is that the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention offer many simple and practical steps to help your child understand the situation and remain safe during these daunting and uncertain times.

As many of us may already know, COVID-19 is a new human coronavirus that was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Most people that have this illness develop symptoms common with influenza and other respiratory illnesses including fever, cough, runny nose, and a sore throat. A small percentage of these progress to a much more serious form of pneumonia. With the memory of SARS on everyone’s minds, people are understandably worried. 

There is currently no vaccine available for this illness, so the best way to stay safe is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Here are 10 simple yet effective steps to teach your children about avoiding infection from viruses.


1. Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands!

One of the best ways to prevent spread of illness is to frequently wash your hands. The most effective way to do this is with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitiser. Wash your hands and insist your children to do the same after returning from outside, going to the bathroom, before eating, before and after preparing food, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and if hands are visibly dirty. 


 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands aren't clean. This is understandably hard to do with young children, but this is a good time to start educating your children about hand hygiene and prevention of viral illnesses.


3Stay away from those who are sick

Refrain from allowing your children to be in the company of those who are sick and if your child is ill keep them home.


4.Teach your children to sneeze or cough into a tissue or their inner elbow

Teach your children to avoid covering their mouth with their hands when they sneeze or cough and to use a tissue or their elbow instead. Remind them to throw this tissue away and wash their hands immediately. 


5. Clean and disinfect frequently

Remember to clean and disinfect frequently touched household objects, surfaces, and toys in your home with a routine household cleaner.


6. Avoid sharing personal household items

Avoid sharing personal household items like cups, glasses, and utensils and wash these items with soap and water after every use. 


7. Practice food safety & avoid eating raw or undercooked meat

Food safety when preparing meals for your family is of the utmost importance. Use different chopping boards for raw meat and cooked food and wash your hands between handling raw and cooked food. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat at all costs.


8. Wear a mask

Masks have become mandatory in many situations. Masks do not eliminate risks, but may help in certain situations, like helping those who are already sick from spreading infection to others. Most studies on the effectiveness of masks in preventing transmission of illness in the general population are inconclusive and inconsistent.

However, they can act as a barrier, covering your mouth and nose and reducing the number of times you touch your face.  Wash your hands after you remove your mask and then again after you remove your child’s mask. Compliance in young children in wearing masks can be difficult. Be creative in ways to get your child to keep a mask on, like singing a song when putting it on or turning it into a game.


9. Seek medical attention early

Seek medical care early if you or your child begin to experience fever or respiratory symptoms. Remember to be honest with your health care provider about any travel history or exposures. It is probably a good idea to speak with your physician first to understand the current policies about who can be seen where. These regulations are also evolving and rapidly changing. 

And don't forget to get a flu vaccineStill by far, the most common respiratory illness in circulation is influenza.


10. Stay up to date with the latest updates and recommendations

The World Health Organisation and the US and Shanghai Centres for Disease control (CDC) are good sources for reliable information. The American Academy of Paediatrics also provides advice on its parenting website.



For patients who cannot easily reach Jiahui facilities, Jiahui’s international medical team are available through its free public service called "Online Inquiries" from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm. This online service has been put in place to help those in need toquickly assess and understand their situation and help them make medical decisions in a timely manner. 

Service*: Free online consultations

Service Group: Jiahui users who can provide their patient number (MRN number) will be prioritised to join the group. New users can also arrange to join the group after providing relevant information


TIP: How to find your "patient number (MRN number)”

Step 1: Enter the Jiahui Medical Program. 

Step 2: Click "My Account" at the bottom right. 

Step 3: Enter "patient management". 

Step 4: Medical record number = your "patient number (MRN)"


Service languages:


*Note - Free consultations available for a limited time only to support the public during an imposed period of quarantine. 

Dr J Celese Beaudreau

Dr J Celese Beaudreau serves as a paediatrician and Director of Inpatient Paediatrics at Jiahui Health. She obtained her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and completed her Paediatric Internship and Residency at Carolinas Medical Centre in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr Beaudreau is a Fellow of the American Academy of Paediatrics and maintains board certification by the American Board of Paediatrics . She has certifications in Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP). Dr Beaudreau gained extensive experience working as a Paediatric Hospitalist and Paediatric Emergency Room physician before moving to Shanghai with her family 10 years ago. She has worked at several international hospitals and clinics in Shanghai and has provided advice and assistance to many orphan care foundations throughout China.


For appointments:

Please call 400-868-3000

Email us at info@jiahui.com

Visit the website at www.jiahui.com/en


Jiahui International Hospital: 689 Guiping Road, Xuhui, Shanghai 

Jiahui Health (Jing’an): 88 Changshu Road, Jing'an, Shanghai

Jiahui Health (Yangpu): 1-2F, Suite 3, 99 Jiangwancheng Road, Yangpu, Shanghai 

Jiahui Wellness Centre: 148 Qinghai Road, Jing'an, Shanghai


For daily updates on information related to family health don't forget to follow us on WeChat: ShanghaiFamily / ParentsKidsShanghai