Remember last year, a big concern for parents was how to explain the events of September 11th to a child. According to the Children's Health Fund/ Marist Poll, even a year later 42% of kid's in New York are concerned there will be another terrorist attack. You might expect the number to be high in New York, but nationwide, 25% of kids are concerned. That indicates that perhaps one in four kids here worry about the same thing.
A year later we are reminded that the same pictures and renewed heartbreak over September 11th may stir up more of the same fears that our kids had last year. So, how do we help children cope with this again? Kae Hentges, a Health Education Specialist, offers this advice.
"According to the American Psychiatric Association some of the things you can do is be supportive and be honest with them. If they start reverting to behaviors that they had when they were younger, like going for a blanket or something, maybe get them to write or tell you a story or to draw a picture about what they're thinking. Be careful that you don't promise them that it will never happen again. We can't do that. It isn't a perfect world. What we can tell them is adults are working very hard to make sure that it probably won't happen and that they will be safe," said Kae Hentges.
If you have questions about how to handle a child's reaction to September 11th, the Mental Health Association of New York City has set up a 24-hour toll free hotline to help families coping with the tragedy of 9-11. Just call 1-800-LIFENET. An operator there told NewsChannel 11 they get calls from all over the country.