USA Today (5/22, Hellmich) reports, “The emotional after-effects of living through a traumatic event like the Oklahoma tornado could last for weeks or even longer, especially for children.” Psychologists interviewed in the article recommended that parents offer empathy to the youngsters and allow them to discuss what happened. Parents are also advised to place limits on children’s exposure to television reports about the tornado. One expert noted that the majority of children who experienced the tornado will not go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, but nightmares, sleeping difficulty and anxiety are to be expected for the near term. As for talking to children in other parts of the country about what happened, “how much you tell kids about the disaster is based on two factors: the child’s age and the vulnerability of the child.”
— “Kids who survived tornado face emotional after-effects, “Nanci Hellmich, USA Today, May 21, 2013.