Children can have difficulties coping with flooding, disasters - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Children can have difficulties coping with flooding, disasters

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Flooding can be stressful and emotional for adults, but it can also take its toll on children.

"Some people will be affected deeply by that and carry that for many years and other kids will roll with the punches and just move on over it," said Roberta Bogle, director of the Center for Counseling and Wellness. 

Bogle said all children respond differently to disasters, but some of the reaction can be based on how the parents or caretakers handle it.

"Being prepared and having a plan and knowing how to stay calm in the face of what's going on can help children get through it better," she said.

She said signs of emotional distress are nightmares, becoming more attached or needy, changes in eating habits or not wanting to get back to routine.

Bogle encourages parents to try to talk to their children about their feelings.

"Get them to say whatever it is they need to say and don't judge it. Don't solve it," she said. "Just let them be able to speak it out, write it out, play it out."

Several children living in the Lees Landing area are still dealing with some slight flooding, but at least they can now use a car to reach the bus stop. They weren't able to get to school for more than a week, but they said being home was difficult as well.

"We were cooped up in the house and nowhere to run and we weren't allowed outside because there was sewer everywhere," said Leiland King, a second grader.

The children also now have to do make-up work in a short amount of time.

"We don't have a lot, but it's kind of hard to do," said David Mathews, a sixth grader. "We have until Friday to do it."

Bogle recommends anyone dealing with disaster distress get help. One option is this helpline: 800-985-5990

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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