How to help children
emotionally deal with Manchester terror attack
IN the wake of the recent terror attack in Manchester, a
leading child psychiatrist with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is advising
parents on how to emotionally support their children to deal with the shock.
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the
Trust and also Chair of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the
Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:- "It is normal to feel upset after
Monday night's tragic attack. Such terrible events instil fear and sadness
within all of us. We would not advise hiding your child from what may be on the
news or social media. They will inevitably learn about it from their friends, so
it's best to be honest with them about what has happened. While taking into
consideration the age and sensitivity of your child, let them lead the
conversation. Respond to their questions or concerns, and help them to
understand that although what has happened is awful, these events are extremely
rare. Do not try to force conversations with your child about this, but be there
for them should they wish to talk. Most children and young people will not show
any long term effects from these events. However, a small proportion,
particularly those who have been more directly affected, may show symptoms of
stress and trauma. For example, they may have problems sleeping, concentrating
or may be more anxious. If parents are worried about persistent signs of stress
and trauma in their children, they should contact their GP."
Health professionals from Lancashire Care also understand that people will be
directly or indirectly affected by the attack and that this can lead to very
normal and understandably distressing effects of trauma. Information is
available about what people can expect in the days and weeks after a traumatic
event and where to get additional help if these experiences persist for several
months. The Lancashire Traumatic Stress Service provides further advice and
information which can be found
Also specilist therapists from Barnardo's have put together
advice for families whose children were present at or affected by the attack at
Manchester Arena on Monday, to help their young ones deal with trauma and
emotions they may be experiencing.
Parents and carers may be worried about the best way to help their child in
distress and worry about doing the 'wrong thing,' but whatever the
child's experience, the most effective support they can be given immediately
after an event is often best provided by parents, friends and family members.
Lois Wignall, Manager of Barnardo's Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services in
the North West said:- "If a child or young person has been traumatised
after being at the Arena during Monday's attack, or knows someone close to them
that was, it's important to be aware that it's entirely normal for these young
people to experience distress and difficulties, and this behaviour could well
last for quite a while after the event."
The following reactions and changes in behaviour are a normal part of recovery
and can be expected in the 1st few weeks:-
► Becoming angry, upset or overwhelmed.
► Difficulty sleeping / nightmares.
► Difficulty concentrating and / or problems at School.
► Avoiding activities they used to enjoy.
► Memories or 'flashbacks' to the event.
► Being jumpy, clingy or anxious.
► Not wanting to think or talk about the event.
► Talking excessively about the event or re-enacting it through play.
► Physical complaints like headaches, stomach pain or feeling sick.
► Feelings of survivor guilt.
Also is your child becomes very quiet and or you just feel something is not
correct, it might be due to them being upset.
Sadly children can hide problems so, if you can, keep an eye on what they post
on social media and how they interact with their friends.
Lois explains:- "Young people there in person on Monday will all have had
different experiences and this will impact upon their reactions and resilience
levels; some may have been further away from the attack location but encountered
the panic, some may have witnessed the attack itself or been injured, and
tragically, others may have lost a loved 1. Children and young people can
sometimes start to withdraw from friends, family and situations following
traumatic events. This may make them feel very isolated and alone and will
reduce their opportunities to talk to supportive people about their experience.
Children need to make sense of what has happened to them and by encouraging a
supportive conversation about the facts of the event can really help a child to
The following guidance is aimed to help parents and carers best support their
children through this difficult period:-
► Explanations provided to children and young people need, to be honest and
appropriate for their age; be guided by the questions they ask.
► If they don't appear ready to talk, don't force the situation but do make sure
you continue to provide opportunities for them to talk when they feel ready. If
we don't provide this clear factual information, they may reach their own
conclusions about what has happened or, in the case of older children, seek out
the information via social media and the internet.
► If your child experiences physical changes (they may feel like their heart is
racing or their tummy is upset) or feelings of guilt as they recall pushing past
people in the panic to try and get out of the Arena, they may need some guidance
to understand these are all part of their body's way of dealing with the
overwhelming situation they found themselves in. Explaining to them that their
reactions are to be expected and not unnatural; this was their survival
instincts kicking in and doesn't make them a bad person; may help them. It could
be beneficial to try some relaxation techniques or use a mindfulness app to help
children to calm themselves.
► It's important to help your child gain perspective around what they have
experienced: although it is a terrible thing, these things are extremely rare
and there is no need for them to be scared all the time or change what they do
because of this experience.
►Try to provide opportunities for children to spend time with people they know
and trust, and try to talk openly about how they are feeling.
► Wherever possible, return to normal routines and activities as soon as
possible. The more predictability a child has in their lives at this time, the
safer they are likely to feel.
► Sensationalised stories, graphic imagery and descriptions, anger and blame
will all impact on our children's overall perception of the event and ongoing
threat. This needs to be kept in mind during all communications with children
and young people.
► If you are unsure about allowing your child to return to School, speak to
School staff to agree how you are jointly going to support your child.
Lois continues:- "Children and young people look to adults to put scary
situations into context and to set boundaries to ensure the message they hear is
one that is appropriate for their age and level of understanding. It's to be
expected that many people caught up in Monday's traumatic event will be
unsettled and upset for a period of time afterwards. These support methods will
help children to regain their previous state of wellbeing and the vast majority
of young people will cope with this trauma and be OK. However, if their levels
of distress are very high or they continue to experience changes in mood and
behaviour several weeks after the event, this may be a sign they require further
help. If this is the case you should contact your child's GP for further
assistance. By reminding children of the strength and resilience they possess
and helping them to draw on the strength and support of family, friends and
professionals, will help them through this difficult time."
Full details of professional guidance on how to talk to children and young
people following the tragic events in Manchester are available on Barnardo's
website and look up:- "Advice to
families to help children deal with trauma."
For further support and advice, the following help lines also be
► Samaritans (116 123) – operates a 24 hour service
available 365 days a year.
► Childline (0800 1111) – runs a free helpline for
children and young people in the UK.
Term Family Fun at The
THE Atkinson is a great day out,
providing excellent value for money and just 3 minutes' walk from the station!
With so much to see and do and lots of drop in FREE activities to keep the kids
entertained, The Atkinson is a great place for families to discover, learn and
play together! The Atkinson's Museum and Discover Ancient Egypt Gallery offer interactive activities,
stories of shipwrecks, comics, cars and mummies galore! Open every day in the
holidays from 10am to 4pm and 11am to 3pm, on Sundays.
'Why Look at Animals' in the Atkinson's new major exhibition?
Well this exhibition gives visitors a
fascinating look at our relationship with animals and how it has changed. Little
explorers should pick up an Arty Apron (throughout ½
Term, subject to
availability) to help them delve deeper into the work and with their own tools!
You can also help with countdown to Sefton hosting the 146th Open Golf Championship,
to be held in July 2017,
by visiting 2 exhibitions, within the complex, that look at the sport a little differently!
'Golf and Glamour' explored the ever changing styles of the sportswear that has
showcased on the famous Fairway from the blazers, top hats, corsets, and bonnets
of the late 19th Century to the more functional fashion of the present
day. While Hole in 1! gives you the opportunity to buy unique golfing cartoon
artwork from some of the best loved illustrators, including:- William Heath
Robinson, Louis Wain and Lawson Wood.
Kids have their very own 'Comedy Club' at The Atkinson, on Saturday, 27 May
2.30pm, Comedy Club 4 Kids, brings the best stand ups and sketch acts from the
international circuit do their thing for an audience of children and their
families… but without the rude bits. This is a great show for families of all
ages to really enjoy together!
'Aaargh' look out there is a 'Shark in the Park' of Friday, 2 June
2017, at 1.30pm and
3.30pm, with all 3 of Nick Sharratt's 'Shark in the Park' books
live on Stage! Join them for a fintastic family musical following Timothy Pope (and his
telescope). Suitable for ages 2 to 6 years.
The kids team also invites you to 'Hands On!' ...on Tuesday, 30 May
2017, from 11am to 3pm, as a way of getting up
close and personal with the Museum artefacts along with an opportunity for your
kids to get creative in 'Make It!' sessions, to be held on Monday, 29 May
2017, from 11am to 3pm.
'Rhyme Time' continues on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, at the usual times and
you can drop into 'The Art Box' anytime during your visit to do free arts and
crafts. Don't forget the Children's Library is a great place to relax and spend
time; and of course to pick up a book for home!
Dads and their young inventors get ready! Construction Club takes place on
Saturday, 3 June 2017, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Come along let them take you back to being
a kid again; with building castles, spaceships and more!
To book your tickets for 1 of these fantastic events please visit theatkinson.co.uk or
call our friendly Box Office Team on:- 01704 533 333.
Festival Season Arrives in
A month of culture and entertainment is
on offer in the historic Market Town of Prescot, over June 2017.
The Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts runs from Friday, 16 June 2017 until Sunday, 25 June
but a packed month of cultural events kicks off on Saturday 3 June with the
town's Elizabethan Fayre.
Celebrating Prescot's historical role as a centre of culture and commerce in
Lancashire, the fayre invites visitors to experience the life of a Tudor
Stalls, games, drama and period costumes will help transport the town back more
than four centuries for a day.
The following week, MATE Productions present Shakespeare's The Tempest in
Prescot Woodland Theatre, in the grounds of St Mary's Church.
Performances are on Saturday, 10 June and Sunday, 11 June 2017, and the spectacular
production will then tour Merseyside and the Bard's hometown of
Stratford upon Avon; throughout the summer before returning to Prescot in late
Then comes the pinnacle of the season:- The Prescot Festival itself, now in its
Highlights of this year's 10 day programme include Leyland Brass Band, Phoenix
Concert Orchestra and the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Girl Choristers.
For the 1st time, a military band will take to the stage for the Proms style
finale, with the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment making their Prescot Festival
"Prescot's pivotal role in the rich social and cultural history of the
North West has really come to the fore in the last few years. Also
we're incredibly proud that the Prescot Festival has taken a lead in celebrating
that heritage. With the continuing success of the festival, the advent of the
annual Elizabethan Fayre, and regular theatrical productions from MATE, Prescot
is fast becoming 1 of Merseyside's top cultural destinations. It's the place to
be for arts and music lovers this June." said
Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard,
The full festival programme, along with information on other upcoming Prescot
events, can be found
Keep Cool In The Heat This
NORTH West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is
urging everyone to take extra care this coming Bank Holiday weekend as the Met
Office forecasts soaring temperatures.
Many will look forward to enjoying the hot weather, but it's important to
remember that it can also be dangerous and knowing how to keep cool during long
periods can help save lives.
Despite dealing with the terrible events in Manchester it's still business as
usual for NWAS services, which are urgently needed to reach those who are
seriously ill or have life threatening conditions.
Ged Blezard, Director of Operations said:- "The warm weather is a pleasant
change, but it can cause various health problems, particularly for the elderly,
people with respiratory issues, babies and young children and those who are
fasting for Ramadan. Many will also be getting out and about to enjoy outdoor
events in the sun, but should be mindful that during hot weather people are more
likely to suffer from dehydration which is characterised by lethargy, cramps,
dizziness or confusion. We always see a rise in the number of 999 calls during
Bank Holidays weekends, but many incidents can be prevented with some extra care
being taken. Simple advice such as staying in the shade and keeping cool
wherever possible, wearing sunscreen and a hat as well as keeping hydrated by
taking regular cool soft drinks, and not overdoing the alcohol. This might seem
straightforward but will help prevent the incidents we see every day during hot
By keeping ourselves and others safe we can all enjoy the Bank Holiday, here are
some top tips to remember in the hot weather:-
► Drink lots of water – It is important to keep hydrated as you lose more
fluid than you take in during hotter temperatures, this is also vital if you are
doing any physical activity and when you are travelling long distances.
► Keep out of the sun – It is best to try to stay in the shade between
the hours of 11am to 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its hottest.
► Wear sunscreen – Apply a sun cream of at least factor 15 that includes
► Loose clothing – Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes along with a
► Call NHS 111 – If you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not
a life-threatening situation call 111 in the first instance for help.
As always, the Trust will be on hand to attend emergencies, but 999 should only
be called for life threatening or potentially life threatening emergencies.
Amazed by Science
Festival returns to Cheshire for ½ Term
IF you're looking for something to
do with the kids this ½ Term then check out this year's Amazed by Science
The week long festival takes place between 27 May and 4 June 2017, with a packed
programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events for all the
family taking place across the county. Whether the kids fancy operating a
robot, learning about space and aliens, messing around with slime, meeting
beekeepers or making a lava lamp there is something for everyone.
The festival, now in its 4th fantastic year, was created by:- Marketing
Cheshire and The University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.
The headline sponsor is Essar at Stanlow with other local sponsors including:- Urenco, Siemens, National Nuclear Laboratory and Waters.
The event aims to promote and celebrate Cheshire's rich science base, and
capture children's imaginations. Venues taking part include:- Tatton Park,
Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Chester Zoo, Jodrell Bank Discovery
Centre, Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, Anderton Boat Lift and Lion Salt
Free events take place at:- Warrington Golden Square Shopping Centre, Crewe
Lifestyle Centre, Chester City Centre (Town Hall square), Cheshire Oaks
Designer Outlet and Pedal Power and science events will be hosted by Essar
at Ellesmere Port Sports Village and Ellesmere Port Arcades Shopping Centre.
For the full list of events visit
online. Ian Cotton, Head of Communications and Community at Essar Stanlow said:-
"Making science exciting and fun is the key aim of the Amazed by Science
Festival and we're delighted to be able to support the event. We hope lots
of local children will enjoy the events this half term happening across
Katrina Michel, Chief Executive at Marketing Cheshire, commented:- "We're
delighted to host Amazed by Science for the fourth year, celebrating
Cheshire's strong background in science and innovation. Amazed by Science
aims to inspire a love of science in children and we hope families enjoy the
fantastic range of hands on experiences taking place throughout the county
this ½ Term."