Increased exposure to media coverage of weather disasters can lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms in young children. In a new study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, researchers used imaging of the brain and information about anxiety and trauma for 400 children between the ages of 9 and 11. They then collected data regarding their exposure to media coverage of Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes in recent years, as well as post-traumatic stress symptoms. Regardless of how close the children were to the storm, exposure to media coverage of the hurricane increased stress-related symptoms. The researchers believe children are especially vulnerable during disasters such as hurricanes. The study suggests parents consider the effects of prolonged exposure to TV coverage of weather emergencies to protect the mental health of their kids.
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