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updated: 10/3/2017 10:45 AM

How to talk to your kids about Las Vegas mass shooting

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  • Melissah Burke and her husband, Stephen, of Seattle, walk Monday along the Las Vegas Strip near Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The couple, who were attending the music festival last night where a mass shooting occurred, found refuge in a nearby apartment and casino.

    Melissah Burke and her husband, Stephen, of Seattle, walk Monday along the Las Vegas Strip near Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The couple, who were attending the music festival last night where a mass shooting occurred, found refuge in a nearby apartment and casino.
    Associated Press

 
 

In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the American Academy of Pediatrics is advising parents to shield children from graphic news coverage and offers tips for talking about disasters.

Many people died or were injured after a man on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino and resort fired on a crowd at an outdoor music festival Sunday night.

"We know graphic images and descriptions of violence can be upsetting to children," officials with the Elk Grove Village-based organization said. "Parents of young children are urged to avoid constant media coverage of the massacre."

The academy advises parents or caregivers to find out if their children know about the tragedy. If that's the case, ask how much they know and if they have any questions.

Other recommendations include:

• Be straightforward but avoid graphic details.

• Because of social media, some children might already have been exposed to details about the shooting. Be prepared to talk about what they've seen and answer questions.

• A sample explanation could involve -- "Yes, in Las Vegas, which is far away from here, there was a disaster and many people were hurt. The police and government are doing their jobs so they can try to make sure that it doesn't happen again."

• For older children, if you decide to let them watch the news, record it ahead of time. That allows parents to preview content. Watch together and allow for discussions.

For more information, go to healthychildren.org.

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