When even adults are left speechless by traumatic events, it’s hard to imagine what’s going on in the mind of a child.
Adults often gorge on media images — trying to glean facts, gain perspective, to make sense out of a senseless event.
But for children, it can have the opposite effect.
After the deadly rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., psychologists and pediatricians are strongly urging parents to shield their school-age children from too much exposure to the news.
“A number of children were traumatized who didn’t have direct contact with 9/11, but rather watched the media extensively,” said Dr. Alan Kazdin, a professor of child psychology at Yale University. “For those children, a term was coined called ‘secondary terrorism.’ That is to say, some children had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from extensive exposure.”
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