Child Development and Parenting

Explaining Cancer to Kids

Dad talking to sonChildren often become aware of cancer when a family member, friend or schoolmate has it. It's important to talk about cancer openly, and answer your child's questions.

Kids may worry that cancer is contagious, like a cold. They need to know that cancer is never contagious. They're apt to ask if the sick person will get better. Parents should address this concern honestly; be reassuring without making any promises that someone will get well.

Taking positive action may help your child cope. So by all means, sit down with them to make cheery greeting cards, let them donate some money from their piggy bank to a cancer charity, or enlist your whole family to participate in a community fundraiser.

Visit our cancer resources for patients and families.