Saturday, April 10, 1999

Talking to kids

        Dr. Keith Foster, assistant professor of psychiatry at Children's Hospital Medical Center, offers this advice in dealing with children during storms: When the sirens blow: Move the family to a safe area first. “It's important parents keep a calm demeanor about things, so children don't pick up anxiety of the family.”

        When the child's home is destroyed: “The first thing the child is going to be worried about is, "Where are we going to sleep tonight?' Let them know there will be a safe place for them that night to stay. The child needs to know they're safe, and there's no immediate danger. Expect that this is going to have a tremendous impact for a while. Encourage the child to ask questions.”

        When the next storm hits: “Tell them the majority of storms we have aren't life-threatening. There may be a tendency for children to generalize. On a summer day, when there's a rainstorm without lightning, explain this is typically how weather is.”

        When children are traumatized: “Monitor the child for sleeping, recurring nightmares, intrusive thoughts or memories about the experience during the daytime. ... Let them know they are safe now. There's no reason to believe this is going to happen again. If symptoms continue for a prolonged period of time, if it interferes with relationships with friends or school, seek professional assistance.”

        • United Way Helpline Information and Referral Center is a 24-hour hot line linking people with more than 3,000 local services and resources. Serves Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. Call 721-7900.

        • 281-CARE is Talbert House's Crisis Care Center, which runs a 24-hour hot line for people in crisis. Serves Hamilton County. Call 281-2273.

        • Hamilton County Family and Children First Council sponsors Family LinkLine, a 24-hour crisis hot line offering emergency counseling by professionals and access to a network of children's- and family-service providers through 946-5465 (946-LINK).

        • Fernside Center for Grieving Children offers support groups for children grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 841-1012.


Hope emerges from the rubble
Sirens worked, but some slept through
Families flew from their beds
Bengals coach: 'God's hand on me'
Driver got upside-down trip on freeway median
Photographer encounters death, devastation
House is a cheap price to pay for life
Community safe, serene and vulnerable
In Addyston and Ripley County, some feel blessed just to be alive
Survivors eager to swap stories
Two died in field; two died on roads
Adjusters quick to arrive at disaster
To file a claim
Dealing with storm aftermath
Don't rush repairs after storm
Tips to picking a contractor
Kids need help to overcome grief, fears
- Talking to kids
Phones, power out until Sunday
Rescue team did tough job
Storm could spur support for tax levy
Storms' memories linger after damage is repaired
Mobilization was instant
Tornado tales
TV/radio stations had reason to boast
Volunteers grab chain saws, mops as workers untangle wires
At least 7 businesses destroyed
911 calls reveal confusion, fear