LUBBOCK, Texas — Covenant Health provided advice on Monday following two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
Covenant Children’s Pediatric Mental Health Counselor James Atkison said when tragic events occur, it’s important to limit a child’s screen time.
“It can happen anywhere, is one of the biggest messages,” Atkison said.
Atkison said it’s important to answer children’s questions, and assure them they are in a safe place.
“School age children, they’re going to want to know more of the why did it happen, talking about the shooter’s manifesto and things like that are not helpful to the child, teenage children are going to want to solve the problem,” Atkison said.
Atkison mentioned younger children may not understand what may be taking place. For children younger than five, he suggests answering in one sentence responses.
“Address the issues talk about what’s going on, let them understand they’re safe and if they have concerns and questions,” Atkison said.
Atkison said there are many resources that can help address difficult topics.
“Get to knowthe resource officers, again, information is going to be the best thing that we can have in this battle,” Atkison said. “And getting us to understand that we have to work as a community. Mental health is not going to be a one time fix, it’s going to take time.”
Trauma surgeon, Dr. Caleb Sallee said Covenant Health undergoes training to deal with mass casualty events, like mass shootings or tornadoes.
“We have mass casualty event drills that we do about twice a year,” Sallee said. “We just got done with one in June where we practice those events to make sure we’re as efficient as possible.”
Sallee also suggested people take ‘stop the bleed’ courses to learn about tying tourniquets and preventing a person from bleeding out.
Sallee said when a tragic event occurs, it’s important to stay home to avoid danger and donating blood year-round.