9 important steps to help children cope with disaster

1. Reassure the children they will not be left alone and you are there to protect them.
2. Be aware of changes in a child’s behavior but also know that some children may not outwardly show distress.
3. Keep to routines as much as possible, naps, meals, etc.
4. Avoid allowing children to watch or listen to news coverage.
5. Give simple but truthful answers to questions and make sure children understand your answers.
6. Give children opportunities to express their feelings through activities such as play acting, drawing, storytelling, paining, etc
7. Be especially supportive of the children’s feelings and need to be close. Give lots of hugs, smiles and kind words.
8. Reassure children that they are not responsible for the disaster.
9. If possible take a moment away from the children and make sure you address your own fears and anxieties by talking with other adults.

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