The shootings in Connecticut, in which children and school staff were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, may naturally cause kids to worry that something similar might happen to them, or their loved ones. It can also make them fear some aspect of daily life — like going to school — that they never worried about before.
Reports on shootings, natural disasters, and child abductions also can teach kids to view the world as a confusing, threatening, or unfriendly place.
How can you deal with these disturbing stories and images? Talking to your kids about what they watch or hear will help them put frightening information into a reasonable context.
How to Talk to Your Child About the News
Unlike movies or entertainment programs, news is real. But depending on their age or maturity level, kids might not yet understand the distinctions between fact and fantasy.
School Violence and the News
News of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in which children and school staff were killed, might make you think that school violence is on the rise. But as terrible and frightening as incidents like these are, they are rare. Although it may not seem that way, the rate of crime involving physical harm has been declining at U.S. schools since the early 1990s.
Should You Worry About School Violence?
It’s rare that school violence takes place on the scale of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School or Virginia Tech. But when a tragedy like this happens, it’s normal to feel sad and anxious, and to want to make sense of the situation.
Someone At School Has a Weapon, What Should I Do?
If you suspect that someone has a weapon or is threatening someone else’s life, the best thing to do is to speak up. But how can you do that? If you find out that someone at school has a weapon, here are some tips for handling the situation.
Knowing gun safety can keep kids, teens, and even adults from getting hurt. Many times, guns are fired by accident. All kids should know what to do if they find a gun or if they are with someone who finds a gun.
This information is part of Primary Children’s KidsHealth website. This resource features information on a variety of health topics for you and your children.