ST. LOUIS - Below Dr. Ujjwal Ramettkar, Mercy Kids child psychiatrist, discusses how parents can talk with kids about the events in Ferguson. These tips also translate to any crisis getting heavy news coverage.
by Mercy Kids' Dr. Ujjwal Ramettkar
The recent events in Ferguson have impacted all walks of life in Missouri and across the country. Due to the extensive coverage of these events, words like shooting, death, violence, riots, curfew and protests have dominated media reports. Children may get frightened, confused and worried about their safety if they’re repeatedly exposed to the news and graphic images. Those who already struggle with emotional issues are at high risk for long-term psychological consequences. Parents play a crucial role in supporting children by providing timely support and helping them restore a sense of safety.
It’s important for parents to closely monitor children for signs of significant distress such as nightmares, decreased appetite, increased anxiety, difficulty separating from caregivers, irritability without apparent reason and sudden decrease in communication. Depending on age, patients may provide support in various ways: