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Posted: April 1, 2020


April 1, 2020

Sweet child of mine 

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic wants to provide you with tips to discuss the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with your child


OKLAHOMA CITY- Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants to equip you with answers to your child’s questions about the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Many children may have already heard of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and likely have questions about it. 


“Children are looking for answers about what is going on,” Misty Gillespie said, OKCIC’s Behavioral Health Director. “Offer your child comfort and honesty while letting them know this is new to everyone.” 


According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, here are a few ways to help your child understand the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Make yourself available to listen and talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

  • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash. Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

  • Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma. Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s ethnicity or gender. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.


“Remember, their feelings are as valid as your own,” Gillespie said. “During your conversations, they may get upset or angry. Feelings are okay, but we want parents to help children express them in a helpful way.” 


Here are a few activities you can introduce to your child that can help them express their concerns about COVID-19: 

  • Start by drawing two circles on a piece of paper. In one circle, write the things they can control, such as washing hands and eating well. In the other circle, write the things they can’t control, such as school closures.

  • Let your child draw a rain cloud and label it a “worry cloud.” Children will draw or write down their worries in the cloud. This ultimately will bring their concerns to the surface for parents to discuss with their child.


About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic 

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and  wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 18,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit

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