Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Coronavirus: Southampton nurse pens book for worried children

Dave the Dog is Worried about Coronavirus Image copyright Molly Watts
Image caption Dave the Dog is Worried about Coronavirus has already been downloaded more than 15,000 times

A nurse has written a book to help children feeling worried about the coronavirus outbreak.

Molly Watts, an intensive care nurse at Southampton Children's Hospital, wrote the online picture book Dave the Dog Is Worried About Coronavirus after a nightshift last week.

The free book has been downloaded 15,000 times and some schools have shared the link with parents.

Ms Watts said she wanted to give children "information without fear".

The nurse said she had been planning to self-publish some of the stories and poems she had written when the coronavirus outbreak began to intensify.

'Really scary time'

The book tells the story of an owl called Nurse Dotty who explains coronavirus to Dave the Dog, which includes giving young readers tips on how to avoid the virus and prevent its spread.

"Big changes to children's routines and lots of stories on the news can make it a really scary time," she said.

"I've had lots of people tell me that their children were really anxious and didn't understand what exactly was going on but that reading the story had helped them feel better," she said.

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