Psychologists offer advice to help with shootings


    Psychologists said children may have more questions about safety after the school shooting in Florida. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)<p>{/p}

    Child psychologists say school shootings can be traumatic and it's important to reassure children there are safety procedures in place.

    Kimberly Feronti-Dickinson from Family and Children's Consultants said children may have lots of questions.

    "The adults do take care of them," Feronti-Dickinson said. "It's the adults job to take care of them. The adults job to keep them safe. That the schools and the teachers, their main job is to keep them safe. Keep them protected."

    She said this may be something children need more counseling on with how many school shootings have happened.

    "Bad things at school are not normal," Feronti-Dickinson said. "Schools are basically very, very, very safe and we work hard to keep schools safe. That we understand their fears, because you don't want to negate their fears or minimize their fears. But we can do everything or can do more to protect you."

    Psychologist Gant Ward, who owns the Moore Counseling Center, said parents should understand an increased fear that could come from these shootings.

    "I would use this as an opportunity to talk to their child," Ward said. "Just to give them an open-ended question about what they heard and give them a chance to talk about their feelings about it."

    Psychologists also recommend limiting how much access children have to the media.

    "Don't let the children have as much media information," Feronti-Dickinson said. "Turn the TV off, monitor their video games, monitor the times they're on the phone, monitor their text messaging."

    But it's important for parents to remind them of who is there for their safety.

    "Letting them know about their environment in general, how they're made to be safe at home, how their neighborhood is made to be safe," Ward said.

    Psychologists said if you notices changes in your child, to talk to them about it and get more help if you need it.

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