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2 crises having impact on local children

What to tell your kids about coronavirus and racial injustice

TOLEDO, Ohio — The coronavirus is hard enough for kids to cope with.

Now there's a second crisis: The tragic death of George Floyd and racial inequality.

It is important to see our kids back on the baseball field, playgrounds reopening in Ohio on Wednesday and the Toledo Zoo reopening to members on Friday.

These are all positive signs for our kids as we continue to emerge from the coronavirus and quarantine that kept families home for so many weeks.

But the unknowns and fears of the coronavirus have taken their toll on kids emotionally and now they might be asking you about the many protests around the country, and Toledo, after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Dr. Michael Carter is with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.

He said on Your Morning on Saturday that it's important for all ages to talk about what they're feeling about the virus and the racial inequality and protests.

He said people can be going through phases of grief, anger, shock, and numbness in what we're seeing.

And he said kids can feel it too, even if they don't understand it all.

Credit: WTOL
The Mental Health and Recovery Services board is helping kids and adults deal with major issues of our time

So what can parents do? 

"I think having a listening ear, providing conversations to them, utilizing the resources in our community. All of the school districts have done an excellent job of providing for us for those online connections, the after school programs are providing things. I think trying to make their routines as normal as possible and just discussing with them how they're feeling and listening without a lecture," Dr. Carter said.

The Mental Health and Recovery Services board has set up an emotional support line that you can call at 419) 442-0580 if you or your kids are struggling with the pandemic or racial injustice. 

Someone can help you cope or just be there to listen. 

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