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How to talk to your child about the Umpqua Community College shooting
On Thursday afternoon, 10 people were killed and another seven were injured after a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, according to BuzzFeed News. - photo by Herb Scribner
On Thursday afternoon, 10 people were killed and another seven were injured after a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, according to BuzzFeed News.

The shooter was allegedly a man in his 20s, who died after opening fire on a classroom and later exchanging fire with law enforcement officers, BuzzFeed News reported. Several reports have said the shooter specifically targeted Christian students because he had issues with organized religion.

The shooting rocked the Roseburg community, and struck a chord across the nation.

We are a peaceful community. We have our share of crime like any small community, but this is certainly huge shock to the entire community to have this level of crime occur, Sheriff John Hanlin told BuzzFeed News. Be aware of their anguish the families of the victims are the ones who will have the most difficult days ahead.

President Barack Obama spoke about the incident and said school and mass shootings have become somewhat routine in America.

"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it ... We have become numb to this," Obama said in his speech, according to CNN.

And hes right this is far from the first mass shooting this year. In fact, as The Washington Post reported back in August, there were 247 mass shootings by the 238th day of the year meaning the United States averages more than one school shooting per day.

Mass shootings are defined as any single incident in which at least four people are shot, including the gunman, according to The Post. The FBI, though, defines it as a shooting where three or more people to be killed by gunfire, The Post reported.

With so many shootings in the news, its likely children will have questions about the dangers they face when they attend school. So what can parents do to help their children learn about school shootings?

Experts say one of the most important things parents can do is let their children express their emotions about shootings, especially if they feel scared, sad or worried, according to NBC News.

"Believe me, kids are thinking already about it," Dr. Keith Ablow told NBC News back in 2013. "They need an adult to coax them to express their feelings and to tell them they are safe and that were going to do the things we need to protect you.

According to the American Psychological Association, some children will demonstrate their fears through drawings or playing with toys. Other children may also have nightmares over their school shooting fears, NBC News reported. Parents should make sure not to get children more worried or upset than normal so that they dont have too much anxiety at once, NBC News reported.

"For the average kid, having the opportunity for a day or two to express it and then let it dissipate, thats going to be the normal response," Dr. Alex L. Miller, a child psychologist in New York, told NBC News.

That is why its important for parents to make sure their childs home environment is a safe place where they can feel comfortable to express themselves, according to the APA.

Parents may also want to take a news break to make sure children dont spend too much time concerning themselves over school shooting news and reports, the APA suggested.

Your children may want to keep informed by gathering information about the event from the Internet, television or newspapers, according to the APA. It is important to limit the amount of time spent watching the news because constant exposure may actually heighten their anxiety and fears. Also, scheduling some breaks for yourself is important; allow yourself time to engage in activities you enjoy.

Parents also shouldnt forget to take care of themselves, too, so that they dont stress out too much in the aftermath of a shooting, according to the APA.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of your children, the APA explained. Be a model for your children on how to manage traumatic events. Keep regular schedules for activities such as family meals and exercise to help restore a sense of security and normalcy.