NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The tragedy in Uvalde is absolutely posing the question of how to talk to your children about these scary situations.

Some local health experts are weighing in saying New Orleans families can relate because gun violence is a regular occurrence on our city streets.

Anger, fear, confusion, depression—these are all emotions a child might feel after hearing about other children being shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School.

Talking about those emotions is extremely important for kids to get the stress of their chests.

“I think talking about it not only helps children to heal, but it lets kids know it is okay to be vulnerable and it is ok to say that this really scared me,” Dr. Julie Kaplow, Executive Director of Trauma and Grief Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans.

Dr. Kaplow advises parents to let the kids guide the conversations.

“Sometimes as adults we provide more information than they need and it can be overwhelming,” she said.

When a child is feeling grief or trauma, there are signals.

“For younger children, excessive clinginess, not wanting to separate from their caregiver,” she said.

Dr. Kaplow says New Orleans families can relate to the tragedy at Robb Elementary School because of all the gun violence here.

“Just add cumulative effect of being exposed to trauma over and over,” she said.

She went on to say, “We know this can cause stress for those who have experienced similar events. Helping kids recognize it is ok to say I’m feeling really worried about this or it makes me sad that I want to cry. The thing you don’t want to do is avoid it and not talk about it all. It can really help children when parents can re-establish that sense of safety and security.”

Dr. Kaplow says it goes beyond the home and educators can help by not avoiding talking about it at school. She said kids know what’s going on and by acting like it is taboo, it could make matters worse for kids.

To call the Trauma and Grief Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, call 504-896-7200.