Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Speak with Children About Mass Shootings

Kelly Moore, a Rutgers expert on the emotional health of children, is available to comment on how news reports and adult conversations about traumatic events such as this weekend’s mass shootings can affect children’s attitudes, thoughts and behavior.

“It is important for parents to understand the impact on children of vicarious exposure to traumatic events,” said Moore, program manager for the Children’s Center for Resilience and Trauma Recovery at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. “When parents keep the news on as background noise, children may be exposed to information they are too young to understand. It is better to limit watching news during times when young children are not around.

“Parents can also talk with children about what they may be hearing, keeping in mind their age and maturity level. While we don’t want to be unrealistic with our children, we don’t want them to adopt beliefs that everything and everyone in the world is unsafe. And if they live in situations where the risk of harm is greater, parents should give them tools for safety to they can feel more confident,” Moore said.

Moore recommended that parents review the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s tips on how talk with children after a mass shooting.

Media interested in interviewing Moore can contact Patti Verbanas, [email protected] or 848-932-0551.