Do New Federal Antiterror Ads Frighten Kids?


In new TV, radio and print ads, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is encouraging parents to talk to their children about what to do if disaster strikes, USA Today reports. The public service ads, unveiled yesterday by the Ad Council, are aimed at parents. Stations are being encouraged to air them only during adult programming. “It is certainly not our goal that these run during Saturday morning cartoons,” said the Ad Council’s Kathy Crosby.

Some experts say the ads could frighten children who see or hear them. The ads could make children worry that a terrorist attack is likely, said child psychologist David Fassler of Burlington, Vt. “Parents need to emphasize that’s simply not the case,” he said. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said parents talk to their kids about other issues, including crime and speaking to strangers. “We don’t think this will be any different than anything else parents have been asked to do for a long, long time,” Ridge said. “This is only a difficult subject if the parents make it a difficult subject.”


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