How to talk to children when they have questions about Las Vegas - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

How to talk to children when they have questions about Las Vegas

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AUSTINTOWN TWP., Ohio -

We're all still trying to make sense of the shooting massacre in Las Vegas.

So what should parents tell their kids when they want answers about the tragedy they're seeing play out on television and social media?

The major issue that parents are faced with is the 24-hour news cycle and social media alerts on cell phones and computers.  So it's nearly impossible for young people to miss the coverage of the deadly shootings in Las Vegas.

If your child is as young as six-years-old and asking questions, the best advice is to try and keep your explanation brief.

Trumbull County Psychologist Dr. David Chiarella said, "My rule is the younger the child, the better it is that the descriptions are left short and don't offer a lot of detail.  Just say, for example, to your six-year-old that was a bad man who did a bad thing to all those nice people in Las Vegas.  And that was about it."

Dr. Chiarella advises keeping younger children away from the images on TV and the internet and keep them focused on other things.

"They're going to ask you more questions, but you know you don't need to go into specific details.  You don't need to go into the guns that he had for example," Dr. Chiarella said.

Marie Dockry a longtime counselor at Austintown Fitch High Schools says her best advice is making children of all ages feel safe and protected.

"Allow them to talk about their feelings about the situation that's occurred and really what's important is that we explain to them that they are safe," Dockry said.

Austintown Schools also contracts with Alta Behavioral Health Services to come to the school for students really struggling with a serious issue.

Dockry said, "We would encourage our parents to be very, very nurturing.  You know a lot of kids just need a lot of TLC at this time."

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