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Children and Disasters: Disasters can leave children feeling frightened, confused and insecure. Children may respond to disaster by demonstrating fears, sadness or behavioral problems. Younger children may return to earlier behavior patterns, such as bedwetting, sleep problems and separation anxiety. Older children also may display anger, aggression, school problems or withdrawal. Some children who have only indirect contact with the disaster but witness it on television also may develop distress. Whether a child has personally experienced trauma, has merely seen the event on TV or has heard it discussed by adults, parents and teachers should be informed and ready to help if reactions to stress begin to occur.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
June 24, 2014