Tips for Parents to Prepare Children for an Emergency Situation
After the government raised its terror threat level to "high risk" orange on February 7th, parents everywhere are extremely concerned about how to keep their children safe and how to prepare them should an emergency situation arise. Debra Holtzman a nationally recognized safety and health expert and author of the popular book, The Panic Proof Parent: Creating a Safe Lifestyle For Your Family (McGraw-Hill) says "How well we prepare our children to deal with all types of emergency situations will determine their success in managing them."
Debra Holtzman strongly recommends that all parents create an emergency kit to be kept inside a child's backpack or school bag and brought with them to school every day. "The items are all light weight and items most parent have in their home already, but most importantly, are lifesaving devices, says Holtzman.
Contents of the Emergency Safety Kit:
- An emergency contact list. It should include parents and grandparents' home, work, cell/pager phone numbers, as well as the phone number of a friend or relative outside of the emergency area.
- A Child ID Card. This should include the child's name, date of birth, blood type, date of last Tetanus shot, a list of allergies, and chronic and past illnesses. This should also include Health Insurance Information. Note: The Emergency Contact list and Child ID Card should be laminated together in plastic to prevent tears or water damage.
- A small Flashlight or Penlight. Make sure to check batteries monthly.
- A Whistle. If your child is in a dark place, they can blow the whistle so someone can locate them.
- A Fully-Charged Cell Phone or Walkie-Talkie. (Parents can preprogram the telephone with the emergency contact telephone numbers.)
- A Handkerchief. If there are dangerous gases or dust in the air they can use it to cover their mouth and nose.
- Small bottled water and snack.
Holtzman Tips on Preparing Kids for an Emergency:
- Teach small children how to call 911 for help.
- Practice responding to emergencies with your child.
- Make sure older children learn first aid and CPR.
- Contact your child's school and discuss the emergency plan for your child's school. Walk your children through where they should go in an emergency and why it's important for them to remain at the designated area.
- Make sure your child brings the emergency kit with them to school everyday.