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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


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.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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