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For Many, 'Superstorm' Sandy Could Take Toll on Mental Health
Date:11/1/2012

ppened and how they feel about it and do their best to return to as close to as normal routine as they can manage, under the circumstances," Rego said.

Sara Rivero-Conil, a child psychologist at Miami Children's Hospital, also stressed that "events such as Sandy can be traumatic for children."

For youngsters directly affected by the storm, reassurance from parents is crucial, she said. "Tell them they needn't worry, there is a plan in place and these events don't happen every day," Rivero-Conil said.

Children are also very sensitive to their parents' behavior, she added, and if parent is anxious or depressed kids will feel that tension and become anxious, too, she said.

"Parents are their children's heroes," she said, so it is important that parents try to keep a positive attitude and reassure their children.

Even for children who didn't experience the storm directly, seeing images on the TV can be disturbing. "Parents shouldn't let their children watch TV coverage of the storm," she said. Moms and dads should also stress that events such as Sandy are rare, and not every storm should be a source of fear.

More information

For more information on stress reactions, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SOURCES: Simon Rego, Psy.D., director, psychology training, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Sara Rivero-Conil, Psy.D., pediatric psychologist, Miami Children's Hospital


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