WESTPORT, Conn. — Whether witnessed in person or through heart-wrenching images on television, disasters like Hurricane Sandy can have a traumatic emotional impact on kids, according to Save the Children.
One week after the ?superstorm? devastated the East Coast, the organization is releasing tips for parents to help their children cope in the face of fear, destruction and loss.
Based upon years of domestic and international experience of coming to the aid of children in emergencies, Save the Children has developed guidance for families to support their loved ones in the event of a crisis. During the aftermath of Sandy, and in anticipation of a Nor?easter this week, parents can use these tips to help their children feel safe.
10 Tips to Help Kids Cope with Disasters
- ? Limit TV time: Intense media coverage of disasters can frighten young children and disturb teenagers.
- ? Listen: Find out your child?s concerns about the situation. Children often cannot give meaning to a dangerous situation. Begin a dialogue to help them gain a basic understanding that?s appropriate for their age.
- ? Comfort: Let them know their safety is your top priority.
- ? Be Aware: Changes in routine behaviors, such as sleeping pattern or eating habits, can indicate distress. Seek professional support if they persist.
- ? Expect the unexpected: As children develop, their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities change.
- ? Make time: Help kids understand they are safe and secure by talking, playing and engaging in bonding family activities.
- ? Keep calm and carry on: Your child will learn how to deal with these events from you and will model his or her behavior after yours.
- ? Care: Make a point of showing sensitivity toward other families impacted by the disaster. This is an opportunity to teach your children that we all need to help each other.
- ? Routine: Help your children return to normal activities including school, sports and play groups.
- ? Volunteer: Helping others can give your child a sense of control, security and empathy.
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