Helping children cope with disaster

Witnessing and hearing about the explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line was scary for everyone, but for children who were there – the event can leave a particularly lasting impression.

Kids can feel very frightened during disaster, and afterward, some children might show temporary changes in behavior. For most this change will be mild and temporary. However, reminders of the event can stir unwanted feelings, and all kids handle things differently.

To help children cope with what they’ve seen, parents and caregivers can:

  • Encourage children to talk about it
  • Calmly provide factual information about the event and plans that ensure their safety
  • Involve kids in updating the family disaster plan and disaster supplies
  • Give kids specific tasks to help restore family/community life
  • Spend extra time with your kids
  • Reestablish daily routines for work, school, play, meals and rest
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