During an emergency situation, it is important to remember that your child looks to you for guidance and comfort.
- Children follow their parent’s lead – the calmer you are, the calmer they will be.
- It is important to talk to them openly and honestly about what is happening. Try to explain the nature of the problem in a way they will understand, and what is being done to correct it.
- Never dismiss their fears or anxieties.
- You should try to monitor what they watch on television. News coverage of certain emergency situations can be distressing for children.
- You can reassure them by explaining that everything is under control and they will be safe.
- If you must evacuate, bring a toy along (or a favorite board game); this may help to keep them occupied and provide them with additional comfort.
- If you practice family evacuation drills regularly, and talk about why you are doing it, children will not be as frightened by it because there will be some familiarity. An evacuation will be made that much easier if children have practiced the routine.