Involving children more in the aftermath of severe flood events could prove key to reducing fear of future disasters.
Harrowing images of families being rescued from their homes have hit television screens in recent weeks, as flooding has devastated communities across the country.
The UK Government announced the clean-up operation in parts of the UK would stretch far into the weeks ahead.
But as water levels drop, and repair work gets underway, the psychological impact of flooding on those affected could linger long beyond that.
Florence Halstead, a PhD researcher at the University of Hull, said children are now more at risk of experiencing “climate anxiety,” as the likelihood of large storm and flood events increases.
As inspirational voices, including campaigner Greta Thunberg, are mobilising a youth-based movement to address climate change, Florence’s research investigates how children are perceiving flooding and climate change on an international scale.
Florence said: “A lot of research has been done on the damaging impact flooding can have on children.
“It is a traumatic incident, and is something which can be psychologically damaging to children. We are also now starting to see an increase in what we refer to as ‘climate anxiety.’
“It is not just fear during the flooding, or even post-event – it is the anticipation of flooding in the future that can have some of the biggest impacts on children.
“Children are now more aware than ever of climate change and the impact of flooding, and while their awareness is important, it also means they have more to be afraid of.”
Recent weeks have seen severe flooding devastate communities across the UK.
In East Yorkshire, families in the town of Snaith and neighbouring East Cowick were forced to flee their homes as the River Aire overtopped its banks.