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ABC23 Health Minute

Now when it comes to the war in Ukraine your kids may have a lot of questions and concerns.

For that reason in Today’s Health Minute, Mandy Gaither has tips on how to talk to them.

The images are scary for anyone

But the war in Ukraine may cause worry and even fear in small children who see or hear about the unrest

When talking to them, Keep it straightforward

Says Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Psychologist Vanessa Jensen.

“It’s far away and that’s something that grownups do let the grownups take care of this right now, okay. We get to take care of you and then we’ll make sure the adults take care of that. So, sometimes you just need to simplify it.”

Jensen says kids of any age can be bothered by what they’re seeing, The images can show up in nightmares and night terrors

She says it’s a good idea to monitor what children see, And guard against showing disturbing images to younger children.

If a child has seen something upsetting, Jensen says to ask lots of questions, To gauge what they know and how they feel.

“If you see things or hear things that either you wonder about or are just kind of scary, let’s talk about it. Help them normalize those thoughts. It’s OK to feel kind of scared that this is happening in our world.”

If a child is feeling unsafe, Jensen says it might help to show them Ukraine on a map, So they see the fighting is far away. No matter your child’s age

She says all children need extra support and reassurance from their parents right now.

For health minute, I’m Mandy Gaither.

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