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Coping with stress during traumatic events

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

During a week in which Americans watched horrors unfold on their TV sets – the Boston Marathon bombings, Texas plant explosion, flooding in the Midwest – it's important to take steps to manage your mental health and stress.

The American Red Cross has provided simple steps you can take to help cope with recent events. Among them:

  • Stay informed, but limit over exposure to the events. Be especially aware of children's exposure.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Be patient with yourself and others. It's common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
  • Stay connected with your family and other support systems. Reach out and accept help from others.
  • Encourage children to express their feelings and thoughts. Reassure them about their safety.
  • To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs' to 66746.

The American Red Cross said children are particularly vulnerable because they can become convinced that they or their families could be harmed.

Parents are encouraged to comfort children by talking to them in a calm manner.

For more information about recovering after a disaster or emergency, visit redcross.org.

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