Avoid info overload

Tips and Resources

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.

Tips

General

  1. Stick to reliable COVID-19 news sources such as the CDC, your doctor, or your local health department
  2. Consume news purposefully. Limit the time you spend consuming news and limit yourself to credible sources
  3. Consider turning off news and media notifications for a set time period every day
  4. Consider a news subscription and limit yourself to print news only
  5. Plan daily activities that do not involve any electronics. Keeping yourself busy and active can help reduce free time spent online
  6. Acknowledge when news makes you feel stressed
  7. Remember when things feel overwhelming that you are not powerless
  8. Pause to check the source and content before sharing a news article or video
  9. Seek ways to be involved in a positive way such as relief efforts, food and supply drives, etc.

For Kids

  1. Keep your kids informed in an age-appropriate manner
  2. Be proactive in being your kids’ reliable source of information
  3. Encourage your children to come to you directly with questions regarding current events
  4. Be mindful of the media you consume around your children, even if you don’t think they are paying attention

For Teens

  1. Help your teens stay informed. This will help them make responsible choices to reduce spread of the virus
  2. Ask your teen what they understand about the pandemic
  3. Teach your teens how to discern what information online is reliable. Don’t assume that they have this skill

Articles

Videos

Activities

Frequently Asked Questions: Avoiding Info Overload

faq down arrow faq up arrow Worried Kids
Q.

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?

A.

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.

faq down arrow faq up arrow Reliable Info
Q.

How do I know if I am looking at information from a reliable source?

A.

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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