Spike in calls to Yakima mental health professionals: 'What should I tell my child?'

Spike in calls to Yakima mental health professionals: 'What should I tell my child?'
YAKIMA, Wash. -- They're answers that are hard to come by. Questions from kids here in Yakima looking for an explanation to the Connecticut school shooting. KIMA learned mental health professionals have been bombarded with phone calls from parents looking for advice.

With around the clock coverage on nearly every channel, it's hard for even the youngest kids to hide from the horror. It's causing parents in our area to reach out for help.

The phones keep ringing -- and the questions keep coming.

"We've had more people calling in with family questions and about their children," said Education Coordinator at Central Washington Mental Health Jim Pinnell. "How should the family respond?"

Pinnell says the spike in calls is a good thing. The advice? Listen to your kids concerns, explain that tragic events like the one in Connecticut are rare, and keep them away from the TV.

"We concentrate more on our staff knowing what to do," said Preschool teacher Carrie Osorio.

After the Connecticut school massacre she reinforced polices and procedures.

"Just looking at the faces of all the children and not ever wanting that that kind of danger to come to them," said Carrie.

While school safety is vital, Carrie's first job is being a mom to two young kids. She hasn't told them yet.

"There are some things just not appropriate to talk about with little kids," said Carrie. "I do think it's appropriate to talk about how to be safe."

Mental health professionals we spoke with say it's also a good idea to remind your kids that they are safe at home, in the community and at school.