Local child psychiatrist offers tips on talking to your children - KCTV5

Local child psychiatrist offers tips on talking to your children following mass shooting

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Not long after the shooting, people began posting videos of the chaos on social media.

People huddled together, desperate for cover.

It can be tough to cope after experiencing or even seeing something like this. Especially for children.

KCTV5 News spoke to a professional about the mental health effects of such a tragedy.

On Monday, MGM Resorts put out a request for certified trauma counselors.

You can only imagine how people in Las Vegas are feeling, but even when living far away, you can’t help but be affected by the largest mass shooting in our nation’s modern history.

Parents especially are wondering how they talk with their children about something like this, or if they even should.

Child psychiatrist Dr. Mitchell Douglass, who works at the University of Kansas Health System’s Marillac campus, said it’s important to have an honest, focused conversation with them about what unfolded in Las Vegas last night.

He said children are smart; they will find out about it and you shouldn’t ignore it.

He recommends you sit down with your child and start by asking them what they know about what happened. Make sure they have the correct information and then ask them how they’re feeling about it.

“Sit down, talk with your kids, be honest,” he said. “Be developmentally appropriate. Be straightforward. And, make sure first and foremost that you listen to them and make sure you’re addressing what they’re most concerned about.”

Dr. Douglass recommends limiting media exposure for younger children. Even seeing or hearing the news reports from Las Vegas -- which we’ve seen are graphic -- can be traumatizing for them.

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