(2018, February) | Useful to Parent Centers, schools, community members, and families after a school shooting.

This resource comes from Child Trends and provides insightful guidance on how to help children after a school shooting or similar traumatic and violent event. Child Trends begins by saying:

As adults struggle with their own reactions to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida—the 29th mass shooting in the United States in the first two months of 2018 alone—young eyes and ears are watching and listening.

This is an important time to talk to children about what they are seeing and hearing, even when they did not directly witness the event. While it can be difficult to know what to say, evidence from research and clinical practice can help us with these difficult conversations.

The article first gives suggestions for adults who care for children indirectly affected by a school shooting. Then it discusses supporting children who directly experience school shootings. These young people are at the highest risk of developing post-traumatic stress and related symptoms (e.g., nightmares, trouble eating and sleeping, academic difficulties, excessive crying, clinginess, irritability, withdrawal, or avoiding the issue altogether).  The article ends with a list of additional resources and organizations offering informed and detailed guidance.

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