Tragedy May Worry Children Whose Parents Have Dangerous Jobs
Texas Childrens Hospital
recent tragedy at the Sago coal mine in West Virginia may worry
children whose parents have other types of dangerous jobs
firefighters, policeman, the military or airplane pilots.
this particular situation with the coal miners was isolated to West
Virginia, many children whose parents are in other dangerous types
of jobs may begin to wonder whether their mother or father is safe
at work and if he or she will be able to come home from work on
any given day, said Dr. Paige Powell, child psychologist at
Texas Childrens Hospitals Learning Support Center. With
the volume of images that the media is portraying, it would be only
natural for a child to have increased anxiety over the safety of
the last few years, the country has experienced its share of tragedies
and disasters, from the events of September 11, 2001, to the ongoing
war in Iraq, to the hurricane season of 2005.
to your childs concerns about the parent whose job may put
them in danger, said Powell. Follow up on your childs
questions and encourage them to ask other questions. Its alright
to ask them some questions too, to try and get to the root of their
anxiety. Listen for clues that might tell you that the child has
received his or her information from the media or from peers at
school. Try to dispel any myths, but dont make false assurances
that a parent will not get hurt or may die as a result of his or
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the most dangerous jobs
in the United States include: truck drivers, miners, farmers, construction
laborers, supervisors and proprietors in sales occupations, timber
cutters and loggers, airplane pilots and navigators.
offers the following tips to parents or caregivers if a child is
worried about a parents safety on the job:
with your children reassuringly and honestly. Dont leave it
to someone else to provide assurance and information. Be brief and
Validate your childs feelings. Avoid telling your child dont
worry or dont be sad. Instead, you might
say, I understand you are worried and thats OK.
Use nonverbal reassurance. If your child becomes clingy or seems
worried, its important to respond with cuddles, hugs and kisses.
If possible, stick to your familys normal routine. Stick to
your familys schedule as much as possible. Children, especially
younger ones, find security in the familiarity of their daily routine.
Limit childrens television viewing of events. Children may
develop thoughts and ideas that are untrue based on the images they
see on television.
Texas Childrens Hospital:
As one of the nations largest pediatric hospitals, Texas Childrens
is renowned for its expertise and breakthrough development in the
treatment of cancer, premature infants, cardiogenic disorders, diabetes,
asthma, HIV/AIDS and attention-related disorders. Since opening
its doors in 1954, the Texas Children's Hospital Integrated Delivery
System (IDS) has cared for more than 1 million children from every
corner of the world, and has more than 2 million patient encounters
a year. Internationally recognized, the hospital is ranked in the
top four among childrens hospitals by both Child magazine
and U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit www.texaschildrenshospital.org.
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