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USA Today Article by Jennifer Freed

As images of violence escalate, how do we talk to our children? Column

Police-involved and mass shootings can negatively influence kids. Turn their attention to other things.

(Photo: Elise Amendola, AP)

The recent spate of police-involved shootings in Chicago, Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota have put everyone on high alert. Mass shootings such as the ones that happened this year in Germany and Florida continue to feed our fears. It is almost impossible not to feel growing anxiety as the incessant reports roll into our news feeds.

While the debate rages about whether we need more or less gun control and who is to blame, a generation of children are growing up saturated with what seem like more negative, violent images than ever before. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine shows a strong connection between exposure to violent media and post-traumatic stress and emotional distress in journalists.

But violence may have long since taken its toll on young people

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