Bonnie Glazer of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services says it will be tough for young and old to avoid hearing about this. "The fact that this will be so prominently displayed in the media can be reasonably expected to raise the fear of kids about safety in their own schools," says Glazer. "For very, very young children, to the degree parents can keep them away from the horrifying images, that would be beneficial." Glazer says parents need to let their children know it's ok to ask questions and express their feelings about what happened.
Sue Green of UB's Trauma Institute says "kids are looking to their caretaker to remind them both physically and emotionally they are safe. They may not directly ask this but there's a need for reassurance of being in the routine as normal for the day anyway."
Green says it's possible a kid may wake up with a nightmare or other reaction to the news. "As you would with any other distressing situation, allow your child to express his or her anxiety or stress," recommends Green. "If you're finding symptoms progress beyond a few days, that's cause for concern." In that case, Green recommends seeing an expert.