How To Talk To Your Kids About Disasters

Early Childhood Education Programs

Tips#1: Read Together Every Day
Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together.
Tips#2: Give Everything A Name
You can build comprehension skills early, even with the littlest child. Play games that involve naming or pointing to objects. Say things like, "Where's your nose?" and then, "Where's Mommy's nose?" Or touch your child's nose and say, "What's this?"

Disaster Safety Training for Kids

As parents, we want to protect our kids from danger. Unfortunately, there are events in life we can't control or prevent. Talking to your children about the basics of disaster safety early and often will help to keep them calm and capable in the event of a fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster.

Talking About Disasters

It can be hard to know how to talk to kids about disasters. Luckily, there a lot of great disaster-training products specifically made for kids. You might look for videos that explain earthquake safety tips for kids. Books or comics are available that provide kids safety tips with colorful, engaging illustrations. Have your child research the causes behind earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis- knowledge of plate tectonics, weather patterns and ocean currents can spark their curiosity and interest. Understanding of the causes of natural disasters can also help to relieve anxieties and answer questions about “why bad things happen.”

Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Tips#3: Say How Much You Enjoy Reading Together
Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.
Tips#4: Be Interactive
Engage your child so he or she will actively listen to a story. Discuss what's happening, point out things on the page, and answer your child's questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child's responses.

There are a number of excellent pre-designed family disaster plans available online. Choose one that works for your family and home layout. Have your child help with every step- this can provide you with opportunities to answer their questions and it can be a lot of fun to prepare together. What types of disasters are possible and how can you prepare? Brainstorm with your child. What do your community's warning signals sound like? Take a field trip to talk to police and firemen. Introduce your child to neighbors and decide together who your child could go to for help. Take a first aid class together.

Then implement your plan by creating:

  • Emergency numbers. Have your child write them in bold colors to place near every phone.
  • A family contact. Get your child's input- who do they think it should be?
  • An evacuation plan. Place maps of your home with the exits clearly marked in every room.
  • Safe places in your home for each type of disaster. Mark them on your evacuation plan.
  • Home hazard hunts for items that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire.
  • An emergency supply kit to last 3 days. Let your child help stock it and put in some treats.

We may not be able to prevent natural disasters, but with knowledge and preparation, we can make sure our kids are as well-equipped as possible to handle an emergency situation.

Tips#5: Read It Again And Again And Again
Your child will probably want to hear a favorite story over and over. Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills.
Tips#6: Talk About Writing, Too
Draw your child's attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Updated: January 17, 2018 — 12:23 am
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