Children Frightened by Images of Hurricane Katrina

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

The images of fierce winds, flooded streets and masses of people homeless and hungry are heart-breaking to everyone, but for children it's especially confusing and scary.

"I had a dream about it. It was really scary; I was crying," said second-grader JaMyrin Jackson of Forestview Elementary School in Lansing.

Susan Bennett-Armistead is an expert in child development at Michigan State University. She says it's almost impossible to shield school-age children from the images of Hurricane Katrina. Because of this, Armistead said parents should sit and talk with their children about the disaster.

"You should be honest and say this is a scary thing and there's lots of people helping those people over there and we're fortunate that we don't have flooding here," said Armistead.

Another way to alleviate anxiety is to practice emergency plans with your children in case something were to happen here. This gives them a sense of control and reassurance that their family will keep them safe.

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