When Darien resident Susan Yung Daly’s seventh grade daughter came home from school Monday crying because a classmate teased her about being a coronavirus carrier, Daly decided to make it a “teachable” moment.

“The impact of the coronavirus has been all over the media and has permeated our lives in so many ways,” Daly told The Darien Times. “However, it’s a very teachable moment for our children, and it’s important to seize the opportunity to communicate accurate information at this time.”

“Honestly, I think most kids don’t realize how their words can be hurtful, and educating them about it will hopefully change their behavior,” Daly said.

She added that the most inaccurate statement currently going around is that “kids think that people who look Chinese can be carriers of this disease.”

She posted about the incident on Facebook, writing that it’s critical for parents to educate their children about the coronavirus, “so we can all take constructive steps to address this health crisis.”

About 150 people responded to her post, with 65 comments and several shares.

Daly told her daughter the next time someone teases her about the coronavirus, to “look him in the eye and ask, ‘Do you truly believe this?’”

She added that when talking to children about this topic, there should be no judgment.

“It’s new territory for all of us,” she said. “A lot of it is fear.”

She said she doesn’t recommend yelling at children who believe the false statements.

“It doesn’t really help,” she said. “They take their cues from us. If we educate them, it will help everyone.”

For more information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/.