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What to tell Your Grandchild About Hepatitis C

What to Tell Your Grandchild About Hepatitis C

It is not easy talking to your grandchild about hepatitis C. As Baby Boomers, we are a large portion of the hep C population. Our grands may have noticed that you have less energy lately. Then again, maybe you have been sick for a long time and that’s all they have ever known. Either way, there comes a time when we need to be honest with them and explain what is going on with their grandma or grandpa’s health. Help them understand how it relates to them. Try these tips when it is time for your talk. What to tell your grandchild about Hep C:

Age Appropriate

If your grandkids are young, try to use words that they can relate to. Simply telling them that you are sick may be enough. If there are more questions, you can take it one at a time. For example, tell them that it is a virus. If they ask when you will be all better, explain that you might take medicine to make it go away. For an older child, or teen, you can explain in more detail.

The Basics

Certain information is important to take into account no matter what their age. Prevention and contamination is a family matter. Talk to your grandkids about how they can keep from getting it. This is a good time to teach your them about personal items. Remind them to avoid using or sharing personal items such as fingernail clippers, toothbrushes, or shaving kit.


Since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the whole family to be tested, bring it up. Talk with your children about letting the grandkids family doctor or pediatrician know about your illness. My daughter and her husband were tested after my diagnosis. Since they were clear, my grandkids pediatrician said they didn’t need testing.


You may look a little haggard when you have hep C. I tried to smile a lot. Because my liver failed, my grandkids knew right away that Nana was really sick. My skin was yellow and I was skinny, yet bloated. The fatigue can be hard to hide too. I remember pushing myself awake to read a book to my girls. I may not have looked very good, but they sure knew I loved them.


Because you will be on some medications for several weeks, it is good to talk with them about it. Let them know that you might be even more tired. Remind them that it won’t be for a long time, Make a calendar with a star on the date that you finish! It can encourage the whole family!

Being a grandparent is a bonus in life! Those cute little kiddos come over so we can share some fun. Then they go home so we can rest up for the next round. Reassure your grandkids that you are going to try and get better soon. Most of all, remind them that you love them. That’s all they really want from grandparents anyway! We have a lot of that to share!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.