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Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events


The confusing and frightening emotions that can follow a traumatic event or natural disaster can be even more pronounced in children.  Whether they directly experience the traumatic event or were repeatedly exposed to horrific media images after the fact, we need to make sure that we know how to best help children cope with these events.


Check out the links below for a mixture of resources to help you assist a child in coping with a traumatic event. 


Mass Shooting in Las Vegas: How to Talk to Students
The nation woke up this morning to the horrific news of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history during a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the news streams in and images flash across screens, children can’t escape the disturbing scenes. Many will be scared and confused. We are offering advice from the National Association of School Psychologists for talking to your students about violence and other national tragedies


NEA Healthy Futures School Crisis Guide
Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe — before, during, and after a crisis. 


National Child Traumatic Stress Network                  
NCTSN has several PDFs and other resources for helping parents and children deal with catastrophic mass violence events, including parent tips for helping school-age children after disasters, which lists children’s reactions with examples of how parents should respond and what they should say.


Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events 
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, childcare providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.


How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy
It's normal for both adults and kids to feel anxious after such a publicly devastating event, but there are things you can do to minimize the stress and maintain a sense of normalcy.


Incidents of Mass Violence
Learn about who is most at risk for emotional distress from incidents of mass violence and where to find disaster-related resources. 


NEA Safe School Resources
Explore these educator resources to help students and parents learn about and advocate for school safety, bullying prevention, reducing violence, improving discipline, and increasing student attendance.