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Boston Marathon: Poise, no TV key to helping kids cope, says pediatrician

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Boston Marathon runners and spectators wait to get back to their hotel, on Monday in Boston, Massachusetts. Several hours after two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the city is cordoned off around the bomb site and filled with law enforcement officials.

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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings children to know: “Why did this happen?” and “Should I be afraid?” Dr. David J. Schonfeld, chief pediatrician at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, a member of the Sandy Hook Commission on School Crises, advised me today that in order to teach life-long coping skills parents must turn off the TV and share the truth about their own fears with their kids, but in a completely drama-free tone.

This morning I asked Dr. Schonfeld if we should let kids of any age watch the images of the Boston bombings on the news and social media and he said that he limits his own exposure to them because, “It’s been shown that those who have a higher exposure to TV coverage of this kind have much more difficulty coping. Why would you keep showing it? Visualizing trauma doesn’t help us overcome it at all.”


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