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How to talk your kids about grief and loss following tragedy at Astroworld Festival

Dr. Shana D. Lewis, LPC, NCC is the clinical director of Living Well Professional Counseling Services. She is currently offering support to those who are dealing with trauma following the events that took place Friday night at the Astroworld Festival, specifically with kids. Dr. Shana explains kids can respond to trauma with anxiety, depression, nightmares, loss of sleep, loss of focus, feeling worried and unsafe even if they didn’t know anyone who was involved. She also adds that we must understand that trauma changes the way people see themselves, other people, and the world! Which is why it affects children. The world is no longer safe to them.

HOUSTON – Dr. Shana D. Lewis, LPC, NCC is the clinical director of Living Well Professional Counseling Services.

She has some advice for families dealing with trauma following the events that took place Friday night at the Astroworld Festival.

RELATED: All 8 Astroworld Festival victims have been identified. Here’s what we know

Dr. Shana explains kids can respond to trauma with anxiety, depression, nightmares, loss of sleep, loss of focus, feeling worried and unsafe even if they didn’t know anyone who was involved.

She also adds that we must understand that trauma changes the way people see themselves, other people, and the world! Which is why it affects children. The world is no longer safe to them.

She recommends using these tips to talk to kids about this tragedy.

- Ask them their thoughts or what they know about it

- Keep information age appropriate

- Reduce exposure to media especially if they are anxiety prone

- Instill a sense of safety for children (reinforce that this was an isolated event)

- Honor their feelings about the situation especially due to the fact that other children were lost in the tragedy (they begin thinking it could have been them)

- Monitor children who have more emotional reactions to it and seek help if needed

For more information and tips from Dr. Shana text ASTROWORLD to 55444.

CLICK HERE for a link to Living Well Professional Counseling Services.

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About the Author:

Heather Kansteiner is a supervising producer for Houston Life. She has been part of the team since the show launched in 2016. She loves all things Houston and enjoys sharing what makes the city a great place to live, work and play.