Children understand tragedies and fears in terms of their own developmental level and personalise it to their own experience. It is important to talk to children honestly and in ways they can comprehend. Bear in mind, however, that giving them too much information can be scary and confusing.
Talking to pre-schoolers
Children up to five years of age think of the world in terms of their direct experience. Three- to five-year-olds might be interested in ambulances, soldiers, fire engines, people getting hurt, blood, fire, crashes and buildings falling down. You should try to explain the idea of war or terror in very simple terms.
Young children may also want to talk about it, repeatedly asking the same questions. This is because they are not fully able to comprehend the events or the feelings around them. It is useful to keep answering their questions, to ask them what they think, to see what they think would help. Young children might also want to draw pictures and dictate stories for you to write down.
The most important thing for pre-school-aged children is to reassure them that you will keep them safe. If they express particular fears, you can reassure them directly.