This Teaching Young Children article explains how disasters affect children’s well-being, how children may react to traumatic events, and how to support families through crises. Additional resources are provided for early childhood educators and families of young children who experience trauma.
Community violence is exposure to intentional acts of interpersonal violence committed in public areas by individuals who are not intimately related to the victim. Although people can anticipate some types of traumatic events, community violence can happen suddenly and without warning. Consequently, children and families who live with community violence often have heightened fears that harm could come at any time and experience the world as unsafe and terrifying. This webpage explores the effects of community violence on children and provides additional resources.
Whether at home, in school, in your neighborhood or even across the nation, community violence can cause trauma for children. Research from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that up to 60% of children in the U.S. have been exposed to community violence and almost 40% of American children were direct victims of two or more violent acts. Children equate community violence with danger, making them feel insecure, frightened and out of control. This web resource provides videos, lists of symptoms of childhood trauma, and tips on how parents can help their children.
This article explains the serious risks of having a gun in the home including accidental shootings, suicide, and homicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that the safest home for a child is one without guns. This article also details how to keep children safe in your home and in other homes.
As adults struggle with their own reactions to school shootings, young eyes and ears are watching and listening. This is an important time to talk to children about what they are seeing and hearing, even when they did not directly witness the event. While it can be difficult to know what to say, evidence from research and clinical practice can help adults lead these difficult conversations. This website offers suggestions for adults who care for children indirectly affected by a school shooting including how to talk with children about school shootings by age groupings (infant/toddler, preschoolers, school-age, adolescents).
Gun violence was the leading cause of death for all children and teens ages 1-19 in 2018, surpassing motor vehicle accidents for the first time in history. This article gives current statistics on how gun violence affects children, and disproportionately affects children of color and boys.
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