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Experts say Natural Disasters like Hurricane Michael can Trigger Poor Mental Health in Children


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According to the Associated Press, many parents in the Florida Panhandle where the storm hit in October have noticed their children are more irritable than usual or are even refusing to eat. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

According to the Associated Press, many parents in the Florida Panhandle where the storm hit in October have noticed their children are more irritable than usual or are even refusing to eat. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

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Some of the youngest survivors of Hurricane Michael are struggling with mental health problems after the storm.

According to the Associated Press, many parents in the Florida Panhandle where the storm hit in October have noticed their children are more irritable than usual or are even refusing to eat.

Experts say that’s because these children, some as young as toddlers, lost their sense of security after surviving a Category 4 hurricane and having to live in shelters for weeks after.

The nonprofit Save the Children says parents need to lead by example when it comes to coping with these feelings of stress and anxiety brought on by the storm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends families start by talking through these feelings or even volunteering to help another affected family. Parents should seek immediate medical attention for their child if they notice a change in school performance or friendships.

For more tips on preparing a child for a natural disaster including how children of different age groups respond to disasters, visit the CDC’s Emergency Preparedness website.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter

Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.

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