WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — To help kids understand Wednesday’s fatal bus crash, Dr. Molly Allen, a licensed psychologist, says parents should relate the situation to another experience they have had with death, such as the passing of a grandparent or a pet.
Allen also recommends doing something action-oriented, like writing sympathy cards.
She says there are reactions to look for.
“There’s probably going to be some sleep disruption, maybe fussy attitude, some fearfulness, clinginess, that’s how kids show that kind of stress,” said Dr. Allen. “Talk to the kid, say, ‘Hey, you had a hard time sleeping last night. Did you have some bad dreams? Did you have some trouble falling asleep?’ And even if the kid said, ‘No, I was fine,’ then say, ‘Well if you do have a bad dream, you can come get mom or dad. You didn’t finish your dinner. Is your tummy upset? Are you thinking about that little girl? Sometimes they’ll say, ‘No, I wasn’t.’ ‘Well, it’s okay if you’re thinking about what happened. Just be aware that we’re doing everything we can to keep you safe.'”
Allen says if a child has a prolonged or larger reaction than expected, to get professional help.
The Derby School District says social workers are available for students and staff across the district.