Expert advice on how to talk to kids about Circus accident - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Expert advice on how to talk to kids about Circus accident

Expert advice on how to talk to kids about Circus accident

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By: Melissa Randall

Thousands of people were in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence Sunday and witnessed a terrifying fall that landed several performers in the hospital. Many of them were children. Such a public and horrific accident can be emotionally stressful for youngsters.

In the aftermath of the terrifying 25 to 40 foot fall during the Ringling Brothers Circus at the rescues and paramedics filled the arena. 8 acrobats were rushed to the hospital in front of thousands of eyes.

Sarah Kelly–Palmer, a trauma intake administrator with family service of Rhode Island says there is no age too young to talk to your kids about what happened.

“Children really need that reassurance about safety– their own safety– and then the safety of those affected by the tragedy,” said Kelly-Palmer.

In wake of the event Kelly–Palmer says many kids may be feeling scared or confused- especially those who were there in the audience. Many who witnessed the fall thought it was part of the show.

“Let them know that it wasn't part of the act– and that while this is a very rare occasion– that a horrible thing like this happened– that you as a parent are there to keep them safe,” said Kelly-Palmer.

Kelly–Palmer says the incident should be addressed even with those youngsters who were not in the arena.

“You don't want to cause them any undo harm or scare them but check in with them and let them know because other kids may be talking about it and if that's the case take the time to find out what they've heard about it,” she said.

Palmer says parents should limit the amount of TV or online stories about the incident their kids view. Children exposed to the acrobatic fall may experience some out– of–the–ordinary behaviors.

“Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping– your child may have some nightmares. Sometimes we say difficult event equals difficult behaviors– so what that means is you might see some more temper tantrums some aggressive behaviors,” explained Palmer.

If those behaviors go on for more than a month parents may want to seek help.

Family Service of Rhode Island has counselors on hand to help kids who were exposed to trauma. Concerned parents or family members should give them a call at 401-331-1350.

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