TOPEKA (KSNT) – With the Topeka homicide count reaching the all-time city high, families are doing their best to protect their children from what they see and hear.

It’s very easy for children to look at social media and hear about all the negative things going on. However, Topeka psychiatrist Chris MacDonald says that’s perfectly normal. But parents need to be sure that their kids have someone to turn to when they need it.

MacDonald said kids need a calm environment at home as well as a stable routine for their day. This can help kids feel secure, but hiding your kid from the world isn’t the best thing. 

“Being open with kids and showing them it’s ok to have emotions and to have strong emotions can help them a lot,” MacDonald said. 

Topeka Boys and Girls Club Vice President of Communications Jennifer LeClair told 27 News the Topeka community needs to think about the children and have tough conversations. 

“I think it’s important as a community to have those tough conversations to try and figure out how to best rally around our kids,” LeClair said. Everybody’s hurting, no one wants stuff like this to happen.”   

MacDonald added that kids nowadays face way higher levels of stress compared to past generations. Spending time away from social media and more time with family can be one of the best ways to reduce stress in children.