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What are recommendations for children in an emergency situation?

Before an emergency

  • Teach your child how to recognize dangerous situations and how and when to call for help.

  • Learn about disaster plans at your child's daycare or school and other places where your family spends time, such as your local recreation centre or arena.

During an emergency

  • One of the most important things to remember is that the way adults handle the situation during an emergency will determine, to a great extent, how their children will react. Stay calm and reassure children by talking with them openly and honestly about the situation.

  • Children respond well to familiarity. Practice your emergency evacuation plan twice a year. In the event of an emergency or evacuation, bring along a favourite toy or board game to provide comfort and entertainment.

  • Limit media coverage of the event that children are exposed to as this can increase anxiety.

After an emergency

  • Encourage children to talk about their feelings and questions surrounding the situation.

  • Include children in the recovery after the disaster. Assign tasks for clean-up that are appropriate to the child's age and skill level.