MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The COVID-19 pandemic might be a difficult concept for parents to explain to their kids. To help, medical students at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center made a push to educate children on the complexity of COVID-19.
At UTHSC, leaders say educating children about COVID-19 is just as important as educating adults.
"We hope they understand this is the a serious thing that is happening and it is getting people very sick. And that they know that first and foremost that it's not something that is just made up," third-year UTHSC medical student Rahul Mohan said.
Mohan is a part of the school's "Health Students Teach Memphis Youth" organization. Together with classmates Lara Scott and Melissa Scott, both first year students at UTHSC, they created a facts flier to break down the complex parts of the virus for kids to understand.
"The idea here is to be able to do that for all children in our community and that way they can understand, and give parents a resource so they can speak to their children," Dr. Scott Strome, UTHSC College of Medicine Executive Dean, said.
In simple terms, the flyer breaks down what COVID-19 is, what social distancing is and why are we doing it, and what kids can do to keep themselves healthy during the pandemic.
"They're going through this pandemic through their formative stages of their lives," Dr. Strome said. "The best way to combat fear is to provide consistent, reliable information about what we know."
According to UTHSC, children make up less than 2% of positive COVID-19 tests, but they can still be carriers of the virus without showing symptoms.
"We really hope that they understand that they play an important role in what's happening, and that they can transmit the disease as well, and it's not controlled in people," Mohan said.
The facts flyer has been given to partner schools in Memphis and Nashville as well as the Boys and Girls Club.