HONOLULU (KHON2) — As Hawaii joins the rest of the nation in mourning the loss of so many young lives in Uvalde, Texas, experts have advice on how to talk to children when tragedies like this happen.

The images being shown from Robb Elementary School are becoming all too familiar. And it’s only natural for children in Hawaii to start asking questions about their own safety in school.

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Experts say it’s best for parents to initiate the conversation with their children about it sooner than later. The key point is to reassure the kids that they are safe.

“Although this very scary and tragic experience happened it does not necessarily mean that this will happen to them and it certainly doesn’t mean that it will happen to them right now. Because that is where children’s minds will sometimes go,” said Britt Young, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Xplor Counseling LLC.

Young says it’s also important to get the children to talk about their feelings. But avoid asking are you scared or are you sad, because children will tend to agree. Instead ask an open ended question.

“How did that make you feel? Open up the discussion that way and even if you don’t know what to do with those feelings it’s okay, you’re giving your child an opportunity to share and that’s enough,” said Young.

Children also have a tendency of asking why, and Young says it’s okay if parents don’t have the answer.

“Sometimes really awful things happen to families and we don’t know why yet and we’re still learning why this happened. The evidence is still unfolding and we’re still figuring it out,” she said.

Young adds that the younger kids like first and second graders don’t need to know as many details as those who are older.

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“For those very young kids my recommendation is that you go in with a simple message. Ask how they’re feeling and then just really let them live their lives,” said Young.

The teacher’s union, HSTA, sent a statement on the tragedy saying, “Hawaii’s public school educators grieve for the Uvalde, Texas families … We also mourn the tragic loss of a teacher. Teachers report to schools each and every day to provide a safe space for those under their care.”