When a child in your family has been diagnosed with congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV), it can be a challenging and emotional journey. One of the toughest aspects of this experience is finding the right words to explain the condition to your other children. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of talking to your children about congenital CMV with a compassionate and informative approach.

Understanding Congenital CMV

Before discussing congenital CMV with your children, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the condition yourself. Cytomegalovirus, commonly known as CMV, is a virus that many people carry without any symptoms. However, when a pregnant woman becomes infected with CMV, the virus can be transmitted to the developing baby, leading to congenital CMV. This can result in a range of health issues, including hearing loss, developmental delays, and other complications.

Choose the Right Time and Place

  • To start the conversation with your children, find a quiet, comfortable, and relaxed setting. Choose a moment when there are no immediate distractions, and you have enough time to answer their questions and provide reassurance.

Age-Appropriate Language

    • When explaining congenital CMV to your children, adapt your language to their age and maturity level. Younger children may need simpler explanations, while older kids can handle more detailed information. Use age-appropriate terminology, and be prepared to repeat and clarify as needed.

    Encourage Questions

    • Children are naturally curious, and they may have a lot of questions about their sibling’s condition. Encourage them to ask questions and provide honest and clear answers. Reassure them that it’s okay to be curious and that you’re there to help them understand.

    Emphasize What CMV Can and Cannot Do

    • Make sure to highlight that while congenital CMV can present challenges, it doesn’t change the love and support your family shares. Emphasize that your child with CMV is still a part of the family and can lead a happy, fulfilling life with proper care and support.

    Share Positive Stories and Resources

    • Children often find comfort in knowing about others who have faced similar challenges and thrived. CMV Canada has a YouTube channel featuring family stories of children with congenital CMV. These stories showcase a variety of symptoms and experiences, which can be both informative and inspiring for your family. It can be reassuring for your children to see that there are other families going through similar situations and succeeding in overcoming challenges.

    Remember that every child’s journey with congenital CMV is unique, but these stories can help your children better understand the condition and feel a sense of community and support. It’s a great resource to explore together as a family, giving you an opportunity to discuss and learn from the experiences of others while emphasizing hope and resilience.

    Be Reassuring

    • Reassure your children that it’s not their fault or anyone’s fault that their sibling has congenital CMV. Explain that some things happen that we can’t control, but what’s most important is how the family comes together to support each other.

    Involve Them in the Care

    • If appropriate and safe, involve your other children in the care of their sibling with congenital CMV. This could include simple tasks like fetching supplies or playing together in a way that’s inclusive and enjoyable for everyone.

    Encourage Empathy

    • Teach your children about empathy and the importance of being supportive and understanding of their sibling’s needs. Help them recognize that empathy makes them better siblings and friends.

    Monitor for Emotions

    • Pay attention to your children’s emotions and reactions during the conversation. It’s normal for them to have mixed feelings, including fear, sadness, or confusion. Be prepared to offer comfort and additional information if necessary.


    Talking to your children about congenital CMV can be a sensitive and emotionally charged conversation, but it’s essential to help them understand and cope with the situation. By approaching the topic with care, empathy, and age-appropriate information, you can create a supportive and loving environment for all your children. Remember that this is a journey you will take together as a family, and your open communication will play a significant role in helping your children navigate the challenges that may arise.

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    If you found this article helpful, we invite you to explore our blog, Congenital CMV Unscripted, to access a wealth of additional resources available on our website.


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