Nearly half of children in London are concerned about terrorism, according to their parents in a new survey.
Parents in London with children aged five to 18 featured in a national poll, which showed 49% of them believe their children worry about the threat of terrorism, compared with the national average of 41%.
Almost a quarter (24%) believe their children were anxious about the threat of nuclear war, 33% about Donald Trump's presidency and 41% about global warming and climate change.
The YouGov survey was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation to uncover the impact world events may have on children, and equip parents to respond.
Child psychology expert Dr Camilla Rosan said: “We often forget that distressing world events can have a significant impact on the mental health of our children.
"This is especially true in the digital age where it’s no longer possible to shield our children from worrying or scary news.
“Our poll indicates widespread anxiety among children - especially about the threat of terrorism. But the good news is there is a lot we can do to help children cope with scary events.
Mental Health Foundation's 10 tips for 'scary world news'
These are just 10 tips from the Mental Health Foundation when
- A news-blackout is rarely helpful
- Let them know the facts
- Discourage overexposure
- Let your children know they are safe
- Let them know that it is normal to be concerned
- Tailor the conversation to their age
- Find the right time to talk about it
- Leave lots of space for questions
- Allow for repetition
- Be as truthful as possible
“It’s important for example to let children know the facts of any given event but also to put things into perspective and let them know they are safe.
"Anxiety about scary news events is normal, but not something children have to deal with alone.
“Parents can really help tackle problems early and support good mental health for their children by talking about these issues in an open and honest way.
"This lets them know that it’s okay to talk about scary or tricky subjects, and hopefully, will give them the confidence to talk about things that might be playing on their mind at other times too.”
Nationally, of parents who noticed their children were getting anxious, 61% noticed their children asking a lot more question while 24% noticed them seeking reassurances.
According to 13% of parents, children have gone as far as asking to avoid public transport or busy public places and a further 8% reported their children having nightmares.
The YouGov survey more than 1,800 British parents, which included 221 parents from London.
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