How to help quiet a child's fears

February 16, 2017

One of the greatest fears children have after a natural disaster is being left alone or separated from their family.iStock-525340886.jpg

You can help calm their fears by:

  • Keeping the family together as much as possible. Make the children a part of everything you do.
  • Hug and touch your children as often as you can.
  • Reassure your children that you love them and will be there to take care of them.
  • Calmly tell them what happened. Let them know you have plans to keep them safe.
  • Keep them apprised of what will happen next. For example, tell them, "We all are going to be staying together at a shelter tonight."
  • Encourage them to ask questions and talk about how they feel. Resist the urge to tell them to be brave.
  • Give them chores to do so they can feel like they're useful and have some control over the situation.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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