Many parents are wondering how to talk to their children about the deadly events that unfolded Sunday at the Waukesha Christmas parade. Six people died, including an 8-year-old boy, and dozens more were injured.
Children's Wisconsin created a support line – 414-266-6500 – less than 24 hours after the incident. It is staffed by the hospital's mental health team.
Cheryl Brosig Soto, a Children's Wisconsin psychologist, told FOX6 News that one important thing for parents is to emphasize the rarity of such an event.
"One of the ways we can help them is by really limiting how many times they're watching this on TV," Brosig Soto said. "We want to know sort of what they're thinking about, what they've heard about it, what questions they have, and for adults just to be open to their conversations about these topics."
It is good to consider a child's age before discussing things, too, she added.
"Very young children are not going to be able to understand things as well as adolescents," said Brosig Soto. "You really want to start with where the child is at. And again, ask what questions they have and go from there without overwhelming them with a lot of details."
Mental health experts also say parents can reach out to their child's primary care physician for ways to help a child cope with tragedy because, oftentimes, a physician has a good relationship with the child.