The amount of information available online related to COVID-19 can be overwhelming, and not all of it is reliable. Explore below to find ways to avoid info overload while keeping your family tuned in during the pandemic.
I am worried that my child is spending more time recently online looking at current events and worrying themselves. How can I help prevent this?
Children often search for answers and information when they are scared just like anyone else. Unfortunately, they may often land on unreliable sources. Be proactive by addressing what is going on in the daily news and addressing their fears and worries directly. Counsel them on the nature of unreliable sources and reassure them that you are always there to talk and listen if they have questions. By being their anchor, you can prevent misguided information overload. Additionally, it would be reasonable to set screen time limits everyday for your child. HealthChildren.org has a tool that can help your family create a “Media Plan” that sets limits and goals for daily media use. Visit here.
How do I know if I am looking at information from a reliable source?
This can be very challenging to determine, especially in today’s world of unlimited access to the internet. First try to stick to sites you know are reliable such as the CDC, WHO, and .gov or .edu websites. If you find yourself on other platforms, always check the author and their credentials in regards to the topic. Do they seem like someone qualified to speak on the subject? Check the date. Is this outdated information? Consider the facts you already know and crosscheck it with information provided on the site. If it is a healthcare or medical related topic, consult with your primary care doctor, as they should be able to provide valuable insight into the merits of this content type. Additionally, consult the articles, videos, and activities cited in this section, as there are many tools to identify fake sources of information.
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