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Women and Family Care

Children in grief

Helping your children when a baby dies

Although your first instinct may be to "protect" or "shelter" your children from the sadness of life, most professionals agree that one should be open and honest with children about death. Telling your child that the baby died will be hard to say, but allowing your own sadness to show and sharing these feelings with your children can be a meaningful experience for all of you. No matter how young your other children are, they need to be told.

Explaining death to children

When talking to children about death it is important to give them accurate and clear information that they can understand. Use the words death and dying to explain what happened. Children need to connect the correct word with the event, using terms like deceased or passed away is confusing to children. Explanations such as "the baby went to sleep" may cause a child to fear sleeping.

Excerpts from this section come from the Patient and Family Guide to Care "Children Who Experience the Death of a Loved One: Coping with Emotional and Social Issues." Reprinted and rewritten with permission from Hospice of Larimer County.
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