7 Tips To Protect Children From Traumatic News

7 Tips To Protect Children From Traumatic News

It is heartbreaking at times to view and hear the story of trauma victims. Media coverage providing graphic footings and details can create a feeling of insecurity and vulnerability. These traumatic stories can provoke anxiety in the children and may be stored in the memories of young brains. These memories and experiences can increase the risk of future development of mood and anxiety disorders.

#1 Remove the source

Either view only part of the news in your supervision and/or avoid going into details. Answer their questions positively and ensure security to them.

Children does not have the capacity to handle the graphic images or traumatic details like the adults and they can be deeply affected.

If it is TV than turn the TV off.

Do not discuss in front of the children traumatic news, stories and events.

Remove the news paper If this is the source of bad news.

Children when they are watching TV or listening to conversation they feel the event is real and it is happening now. It can raise their alertness and can make them feel stressed.

#2 Reassure the children if they get the bad news

Reassure them about their safety and listen to them and answer their questions appropriately with out going into details.

Tell them they are safe, their parents are in control and they are well protected.

#3 Avoid discussing in front of children

Any traumatic and dangerous situations should not be discussed in front of the children.

Turn the TV off and do not watch bad traumatic news in front of children.

#4 Answer to the point avoid details

Less is better in answering to the children’s questions, but do not leave them in curiosity and unsatisfied. Avoid unnecessary detailed information which may be difficult for them to handle.

#5 Help out in time of need

Try to help the situation if you can, extend your support to the grieving party and send consoling message where possible.

#6 What are the red Flag?

If the child is showing:

  • sudden and unusual behavior
  • frequent crying or whining
  • lost of interest in the activities
  • Drop of school grades
  • Isolate him/her self
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Irritable and being angry all the time.
  • Not taking care of self
  • Anxiety, tension and looking stressed
  • Forgetfulness
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Weight loss despite no obvious reason

#7 When to seek Help:

  • Symptoms appear in Cluster
  • Symptoms stay for long time
  • It affects the SOCIAL, EDUCATIONAL, and OTHER IMPORTANT areas of life.


Article written by:

Dr. Muhammad S. Tahir
M.D. (USA) | Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist