Helping kids cope with disasters

A Healthy You

After a disaster- families can experience a lot of stress.

The CDC says children under eight are at particular risk for mental health disorders like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fear, sadness, nightmares, or angry outbursts are all signs a child might not be coping, especially when these symptoms last longer than four weeks.

Giving a child space to talk about the experience and limiting exposure to news coverage in the aftermath of a disaster can help children cope more successfully.

Doctors say consider talking to a professional if symptoms don’t improve. If they start to interfere with a child’s school work, or if they affect relationships with family and friends.

An emotional response after a disaster is normal, but parents can help their child cope and process the experience.

Doctors say you should regularly monitor for worsening symptoms to prevent long-term mental health disorders.

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