Children’s Information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

A children's drawing of coronavirusThis international research study is being led by child health researchers at Edge Hill and Keele University. The project is working out where children (aged 7-12 years) get their information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and their understandings of the virus and current public health guidance for social distancing. We are also collecting information from parents about the decisions and challenges they face when sharing information with their children.

The information shared by children and their parents, collected through online surveys, aims to help work out the best way to give children news, important facts and safety tips about coronavirus (COVID-19).

The team are working with child health researchers from Canada, Brazil, Australia, Sweden and Spain to help examine and compare children’s experiences and opinions about coronavirus information (COVID-19) from across the world.


We need your help

A child's drawing of coronavirus, with a family inside their homeWe want to gather information from children aged 7-12 years and their parents in the UK using a quick and simple online survey. The survey will only take around 10-15 minutes to complete, it contains a few questions and asks children to draw a picture.

Please note that if you submit the survey, you will be giving us permission to use your answers as part of the project. The survey will not ask for information that will identify you.

The survey for children can be found here.

The survey for parents can be found here.


Interim report (30 April 2020)

Based on 150 children and 200 parents in the UK, we have discovered the following:

Where do children access information about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Most of the children who answered the survey do not get information from resources specifically developed for children.
  • Children told us they are getting information about COVID-19 through their parents/carers or school.
  • Children want information through their parents, teachers, and TV programmes like Newsround.

What do children know about COVID-19?

  • Children who answered the survey understand that washing their hands and social distancing are important.
  • Children told us that they have unmet information need, such as “people play it down and tell me it can’t kill people, but people are dying each day.”

Children have lots of questions:

  • When can we go back to school?
  • Why doesn’t the virus make children poorly?
  • When will there be a cure?
  • When is it safe to go out again?
  • How many people are dying each day?

How do parents share information about COVID-19 with their children?

Parents who answered the survey told us that providing information to their child was a “balancing act”. They answered their chidren’s questions, gave them just enough information so they didn’t worry, but shielded them from “the worst of it.”


Contact us

For more information or any questions please contact Professor Lucy Bray on brayl@edgehill.ac.uk.

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