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Save the Children to Help Youngsters Impacted by California Wildfires
Date:10/23/2007

present, these will likely subside within a short time. If prolonged, however, we encourage you to seek professional support and counseling. For children directly affected by this crisis -- such as children who have lost a loved one -- parents should consult their pediatrician or family doctor and consider counseling, not just for the child, but also for the entire family. It may be an important preventative measure. But other children also may be affected by the images they see and stories they hear.

5. Expect the unexpected. Not every child will experience these events in the same way. As children develop, their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities change. Younger children will depend largely on their parents to interpret events, while older children and teenagers will get information from a variety of sources which may not be as reliable. Understand that older teenagers, because of their greater capacity for understanding, may be more affected by these stories. While teenagers seem to have more adult capacities

to recover as well, they still need extra love, understanding and support to process these events.

6. Give your children extra time and attention. They need your close, personal involvement to comprehend that they are safe and secure. Talk, play and, most important, listen to them. Find time to engage in special activities for children of all ages. Read bedtime stories and sing songs to help younger children fall asleep.

7. Be a model for your child. Your child will learn how to deal with these events by seeing how you deal with them. Base the amount of self- disclosure on the age and developmental level of each of your children. Explain your feelings but remember to do so calmly.

8. Watch your own behavior. Make a point of showing sensitivity toward those impacted by the disaster. This is an opportunity to teach your children that we all need to help each other.

9. Help your children return to normal activit
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