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Resource for Families from ZERO TO THREE: Young Children & Gun Violence

We are heartbroken by the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Community violence and traumatic life events touch the lives of even the youngest children. Even families that were not directly involved in the events of last week, can experience heightened stress, as they are affected through media coverage and frightening images in the news.

In this article, we share resources from ZERO TO THREE to help parents and caregivers meet the unique needs of infants and young children during this difficult time. Caregivers and early childhood professionals play a vital role in helping restore and maintain emotional safety. These resources might be helpful for you and for the parents in your community, as you cope with the events and provide supportive care for little ones.

  • Free, Downloadable Children’s Book: Child psychologist and ZERO TO THREE Board Member, Dr. Chandra Gosh Ippen, published Once I Was Very, Very Scared to help children and grown-ups (caregivers, teachers, and early childhood professionals) understand how stress can affect children and how to help.

    • Use the following English and Spanish links to find free PDF and video downloads of the storybook, as well as related resources (such as finger puppets and coloring sheets).

  • Free Printable Guide for ECE Professionals: Shelter from the Storm: Resources for Early Care and Education Professionals is a comprehensive guide with detailed resources for helping both adults and children cope with disasters. From understanding physical responses to trauma to responding to a child’s challenging behavior, these practical tips can help children feel safe and secure. The guide is free to download and is available in both English and Spanish.

  • Resource from Sesame Street in Communities: Sesame Street in Communities offers a variety of tools for children and families directly affected by violence in their own neighborhoods. Educators and parents can find information about creating safe spaces for children, understanding how trauma impacts the body, and talking about violence to young children.

  • Fact Sheets from The National Child Trauma Stress Network: Coping After Mass Violence and Assisting Parents/Caregivers in Coping with Collective Traumas offer strategies for parents and caregivers to cope with trauma. The fact sheets provide insight into common reactions children and families may be experiencing after a mass violence event, and outlines what they can do to take care of themselves.

Click here to visit ZERO TO THREE and find additional resources for supporting children and families.

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