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How to Help Children Cope With the California Wildfires
Date:10/24/2007

Ten Tips From Save the Children

By Charles MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children

WESPORT, Conn., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The dramatic images of wildfires wreaking havoc in southern California are having an impact on children not only in the immediate area where the destruction is taking place but also on children throughout the country who are watching the destructive power of the flames on television.

Concerned about the emotional well-being of their children, many parents, teachers, grandparents and caregivers are looking for advice on how to respond to questions from children about unsettling and upsetting events that continue to be shown in the media about the fires and their impact on homes, families and pets.

Children often ask the adults in their lives to explain what they are seeing and reassure them about what will happen next:

"Will everything be OK? Why is this happening? What will happen to the children who have lost so much?"

How do we respond to these questions?

Following 9/11 -- and again after Hurricane Katrina -- Save the Children prepared the following 10 tips to help adults support children through times of crisis. These tips are based upon Save the Children's years of national and international experience and can be used as a guide for adults to support children through this current crisis. The relevancy of different tips may vary upon issues such as a child's previous experience, age and where he or she lives in the world.

1. Turn off the television. Watching television reports on disasters may

overwhelm younger children. They may not understand that the tape of

an event is being replayed, and instead think the disaster is

happening over and over again. Overexposure to coverage of the events

affects teenagers and adults as well. Television limits should be set

for both you and your children.


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SOURCE Save the Children
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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