Clinical counselor weighs in on how to talk to children about tr - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Clinical counselor weighs in on how to talk to children about tragic accidents involving children

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -

It was a shock for all of those involved.  Even the day after four year-old Raytwon Briggs died after accidentally being shot in the head, neighbor Willie Duck was questioning how he was going to break the news to his young nephew.

"I don't know how to do that yet," said Willie Duck of Youngstown.

While Duck is more closely related to the tragedy, he's not the only one that's having to explain tragic news to a young child.  Just this week, we've reported on the accidental deaths of three children and the hospitalization of a fourth child.  Whether your child overheard the broadcast or an adult talking about the news, clinical counselor Dr. Deirdre Petrich says its important to listen to your child's thoughts and concerns.

"At times they will wonder if this could possibly happen to them.  Don't wait for the dialogue to be started by their peers," said PsyCare director, Dr. Deirdre Petrich.

Instead she says use the tragedies, like the two-year old who drown Tuesday in Weathersfield, as a lesson.

"You can raise it in a preventative way and talk about some children do drown in pools, these are things we do in our pool to make certain that you are safe.  So, little Johnny or Suzy feels as though their needs are being met and they don't feel so vulnerable," said Dr. Petrich.

Dr. Petrich says that vulnerability can stem from children watching the news or TV shows that aren't age appropriate, which is why she recommends leaving those programs to adults.

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