Keeping Children Safe When the World Feels Scary

This week, our Inspired EC Child Safety Team met for its monthly meeting. Each meeting, we work through the book Asserting a Culture of Child Safety by Nicole Talarico, reflecting on questions and making small but powerful change within our organisation. 

This week, we also talked about war. We talked about the horrific images and videos that one team member had been exposed to online. We talked about the impact that these images and videos would have on children if they inadvertently stumbled upon them. We talked about how the news headlines are graphic and violent and scary at the moment. We talked about our responsibility as early childhood professionals to keep children safe from this, and how to support children who were aware or exposed. 

We know we are not alone in our worry about the impact of negative news and scary world realities on children. And so, we decided to put together some information and resources to help educators and families. 



  • While digital technology may have its place, we need to be incredibly mindful about how we use digital technology, or the access that children may have in early childhood services (including family day care homes). You might think you are on a safe or child friendly website, but advertisements, pop ups and news headlines may still become accessible or visible to children. 
  • If children come to care talking about something that they have seen or heard, hold space for that child to share their worries or questions with you, yet be mindful of other children in the environment. 
  • Be mindful of not talking about the news/distressing topics when children are around
  • Talk to families. If children are exposed to distressing news content/topics while in your care (e.g. through online exposure, overhearing something, or another child talking about it with them), families need to know so that children can be supported at home. 



  • Turn off the news - the radio and television news can be distressing for children, so we need to remove it. 
  • If your child has been exposed to distressing images, videos, descriptions etc - talk with them in an age appropriate way. This article from Raising Children Network has some great tips for talking with children about distressing news. 
  • Be mindful of not talking about the news/distressing topics when children are around


Additionally, this article discusses how we as adults can protect ourselves, and our children in relation to distressing news coverage. 


The world can feel like a horrible, scary place at times (not just for children, but for adults too) and we can feel helpless - wanting so much to change what is happening, and perhaps even feeling guilty that for many of us, life continues on while war rages and awful things happen to others. Those are valid feelings, and yet when we are responsible for keeping our children safe (as educators, or as families) we can find ways to bring joy and magic into their lives. Let's share laughter with children. Let's play. Let's create. Let's wonder. Let's sing and dance. Let's explore in nature. Let's fill their ears and their hearts with kindness and goodness. 

Leave a comment