Children in Michiana could be affected by the Las Vegas massive shooting

NOW: Children in Michiana could be affected by the Las Vegas massive shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Children here in Michiana could be impacted by what unfolded nearly 2,000 miles away in Las Vegas. Two experts say since the September 11 attacks, research has been done that tracks what happens when kids watch videos like those from this massive shooting.

Angela Henry is a therapist and Margaret Jessop is a psychologist. They say they can have the same levels of anxiety as those who are living through it; both explain what the next step should be if your child might be at risk.

“Just by watching, we're showing as high levels of anxiety…” says Jessop.

“Hearing the same thing in the media over and over again was really challenging to hear for myself as an adult,” adds Henry.

Both of these South Bend-based professionals specialize in anxiety in young children. “We don’t know what they’re taking in in terms of the anxiety level,” says Henry. “And the repercussions that may be related to fear.”

Henry and Jessop say exposing children to videos like the ones from the mass shooting in Las Vegas, opens up the door for possible consequences.

“Anxiety is a normal response to real or perceived danger,” says Jessop. “When we’re over exposed the brain practices that response more and more and becomes more anxious.”

She adds if footage airs during breakfast or dinner you can try and explain what’s happening to help them process it.

“With children in particular I might summarize what’s going on so they’re aware, especially if their friends are talking about it, but I would limit the amount they are watching over and over again.”

Henry says the best thing may be removing children from in front of the TV or tablet in a discrete way. Both agree that secondary post-traumatic stress disorder is becoming more prevalent.

“As more and more things like Las Vegas occur and kids are open to seeing these things. The trauma can become very real for them,” says Henry.

Both say one way for children to cope with tragic real life events happening is finding ways to help in the community.

Jessop has  written a children’s book that explores ways to handle anxiety.

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