Helping Children and Teens Exposed to Natural Disasters

The floods in Texas, India and Haiti are being covered in the news. I am a volunteer for the Red Cross and through the years I have helped survivors of natural disasters. I am a survivor of a hurricane that damaged our town in China, where we were living. Death and destruction witnessed on television and social media may cause emotional problems.  For some children, fear is a natural response.   Others will remember  past floods they survived.  The traumatic memories may produce behaviors such as withdrawal, aggression, nightmares or regression.  The reactions to trauma may be immediate or may occur a few weeks later. Look for signs of distress in your child. In my past work with families, limiting exposure to the news was helpful.  Keep your family safer by reducing other stressors in your life.  Listen to your children as they express their feelings, especially concerns about birth family members and care givers.  Some children may need help from a mental health professional. Most importantly, if you are experiencing day to day problems coping with the disaster, seek support for yourself.

 

Below you will find links to helpful information:

Floods:  http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/floods

Hurricanes:  http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/hurricanes

Mobile Apps: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps

 

If you have questions or concerns, please call us at 918-749-4600.

Karin Price. LMSW

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