Area counselor offers advice on how to discuss tragic events like the Las Vegas shooting with kids

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - It happened more than 2,000 miles away, but people in northwest Ohio are still reeling after learning of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

"I think it's very sad," said Cortney Enos. "I think it's horrible."

While it's a sensitive subject, people like Enos feel events like the one in Nevada are serious topics that need to be discussed.

"It's clearly such a prevalent issue happening right now that everyone has a lot of questions about," said Enos.

Like many, Enos says she's been discussing what's being called the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history online.

"[I've] just kind of [been] commenting to friends or kind of seeing their reactions, and...they're all kind of the same," said Enos. "It's just kind of like, 'Why?'"

But explaining subjects like the Las Vegas shooting with children can sometimes be tough to do.

"Answering any question that your kid has is important," said Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Erin Wiley. "We don't want to dismiss them when they're curious about what happened."

While it's up to a parent's discretion, Wiley says it's important to have an up front, age appropriate conversation with kids about events like the one in Nevada.

"When kids are upset or they want to know what happens, you tell them," said Wiley. "You don't hush them up and send them away from the TVs. Say, 'Someone did something really bad and hurt a lot of people.'"

Wiley says it's also good show your kids the kindness in others that come out of tragic events like the one in Las Vegas.

"There's lots of doctors and nurses that are helping," said Wiley. "There's ambulance drivers and family that are taking care of people who got hurt. So that they remember that even when bad things happen there's always people who are willing to rush in and help."

Wiley adds that it's also good to talk with your kids about reaching out to people like police if they ever feel threatened in public spaces.

She also says events like the one in Vegas serve as a good time to discuss family values and talk with kids about to handle their emotions in non-violent ways.