Baltimore, Md. — December 14, 2012 — Laurel Kiser, Ph.D., M.B.A., a child psychologist and director of the Families Informed Trauma Treatment Center (FITT), at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, offers advice to parents in light of the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left more than two dozen people dead, including 20 young children:
"Hearing about traumatic events can be frightening. This is especially true if the event happens in a school or workplace, for example, which are the settings that we are all in on a daily basis. When we see media coverage of such events, we feel like the same thing could happen to us and our sense of safety is threatened.
Tips for parents around media coverage of traumatic events include monitoring what children are watching, talking with them about what they are seeing and limiting their viewing of the coverage.
If children are upset or worried about what they are seeing, extra support and reassurance from their parents is important. Parents can watch their children for signs of distress, such as increased worry or anxiety, complaints of headaches or stomachaches, problems sleeping or nightmares, or fears about going to school. School personnel are usually available to support children who are having difficulties."