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Routine Can Help Allay Fears After CT Shootings

December 17, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Parents may be fearful about sending children to school today, and children who know about the shootings in Connecticut may also be apprehensive.

Laura Mutrie, director of clinical services at the Parent Child Resource Center, says there is great strength in routine. So, unless a child is sick, she says, he or she should be in class.

"You want to reassure them that their school is safe. and that everybody is working to make schools even safer right now. You want to tell yourself that 'I'm going to be calm and reassuring' and that 'My child feels that from me.'"

Mutrie says parents shouldn't hesitate to contact school psychologists and social workers.

Pat Baker, CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, says parents need to be vigilant because some children's reactions to news of the shootings will be delayed.

"Your child may seem perfectly fine, and three to six months later he just is not the child you knew, or acting in ways that just are not in sync with how you recognize your child. That's the time to seek counsel."

Newtown schools remain closed, and officials say students will likely be sent to other area schools later in the week.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - AR