Helping Australia’s children in troubled times
With military conflict commencing in Iraq Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony has written to national television news directors asking them to keep in mind the impact graphic images of war can have on children.
“All television networks will no doubt be showing a great deal of footage of the conflict in Iraq over the coming days and weeks. I have written to them seeking cooperation in exercising restraint, particularly during prime viewing time for children and young people, in the type of visuals used in their coverage of the conflict.
“I also urge parents across Australia to be aware of the affect war images may have on their children. We have learnt from past experience that children are very resilient and can absorb a lot without any apparent long-term damage. However, for many children exposure to scenes of warfare can be very harmful.
“There are plenty of measures to help children deal with the fears and anxieties that war and conflict brings. Parents should be aware that there are a range of services that can provide advice and help allay children’s fears. These include:
- Young Media Australia (www.youngmedia.org.au)
- Kids Help Line (ph 1800 55 1800)
- Family Services Australia (www.fsa.org.au)
- Relationships Australia (www.relationships.com.au) ph 02 6285 4466
- Catholic Family Welfare/Centacare (www.catholicwelfare.com.au)
“Other useful resources for parents include a comprehensive fact sheet developed by Parenting, Youth and Child Health in South Australia and available from Child and Youth Health website, and Early Childhood Australia website, (www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au)
“Many of these services have helped families through the September 11 and Bali disasters.
“I hope all news agencies consider the effect images of war can have on children and I urge parents to carefully monitor their children’s exposure to these images and to use these services if they need assistance,” Mr Anthony said.