October 25, 2022

MOAAP Shares Guidance on How to Talk to Your Kids and Provide Support 

MISSOURI – The Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP) is offering guidance and resources for parents in the wake of another devastating shooting, this time in our home state of Missouri.

“Our hearts are with the families of those lost in St. Louis yesterday. Another story of loss by gun violence is difficult to hear and hard to process,” said Dr. Maya Moody, President of MOAAP. “We encourage every caregiver of children to be attentive and sensitive during this time.”

Missouri pediatricians are here to provide support and guidance during this difficult time. The lives lost in this incident are a terrible tragedy. We also recognize the collective trauma experienced by the community as a whole and encourage anyone experiencing difficulty processing this event to reach out to your primary care provider for support.

It may be hard to know what to share or not share with children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, childcare providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the event and present it in a way that their child can understand, adjust to and cope with. You can find specific tips here.

Signs to monitor that may show your child is having trouble processing this event include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Complaints of headache, generally feeling unwell, or even loss of appetite
  • Regressive behavior changes like clinginess, immaturity, or other changes in mood or behavior
  • Emotional issues such as sadness, anxiety, fear or depression

For more information on helping your child during this time, visit and call your pediatrician.

In addition to providing short-term guidance to help families, MOAAP will continue its policy work toward systems change to advance its mission.

“MOAAP’s mission is to promote the health & safety of all children,” said Dr. Heidi Sallee, Vice President of MOAAP. “We will continue to advocate for policies that ensure the safety of all Missouri children so we can end the cycle of these terrible catastrophes.”

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The Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics( MOAAP) is comprised of over 1,000 pediatricians from across the state. Our mission is to promote the health of all Missouri’s children through advocacy, education, and collaboration. For more information, visit