When it comes to our children, we want to do everything in our power to keep them safe and protect them from physical and emotional harm. But emergencies and accidents happen. You or someone in your family might even be in a life-threatening situation. If this happens, you must know how to support your children before anything happens. Being prepared in advance allows you to confidently help them and yourself through a crisis. Let’s discuss the best ways to support children during an emergency.
First and foremost, staying calm is the most crucial thing you can do for children when things are chaotic. Remember, they expect you to save the day and make things safe for them. The last thing your child needs is for their parent or guardian to become overwhelmed with fear and panic. Kids usually follow what they see not what you tell them. It is essential to put your emotions aside and remain focused on the task at hand. I understand that this isn’t easy, especially if your child is hurt or threatened in some way.
Know that it’s natural for parents to feel overwhelmed with emotion when their child is in danger. You may be feeling fear, anger, sadness, or a mix of all three. It’s important to balance these emotions as much as you can. Doing so will help you to act quickly and effectively in the situation. Furthermore, a calm mind will promote better, logic-based decisions as opposed to impulsive ones.
Provide Comfort and Compassion
Along with staying calm, you must provide comfort and compassion to your child during this difficult time. Though they may not verbalize it, they need reassurance that you are there and everything will be ok. Try to put yourself in their shoes for just a minute. How might they feel physically and emotionally? What would you want someone to say or do if you were a child? Perhaps saying, “I am so sorry you are hurt.”, hugging them, or letting them know you know what to do step by step might be enough to help them stay calm. In reality, simply being present in the moment can go a long way in helping children cope with emergencies.
When comforting a child, consider using their favorite toys, stuffed animals, pets, food, or music to distract them from chaos, pain, or confusion. This might work better for children who rely on these things to cope with normal stress.
Seek Appropriate Help
In the event of a chaotic event or life-threatening emergency, time is of the essence. Things like accidents or natural disasters can pose an immediate threat that must be handled appropriately. Make sure you have contact information for your child’s doctors on hand, as well as a backup support person. A cheat sheet might come in handy, as it’s possible to become mentally sluggish during difficult challenges.
If you are compromised in an accident or emergency and can’t care for your child, they could be left to fend for themselves. Therefore, teaching them basic emergency protocols could mean the difference between life and death for you and them. Think through the worst-case scenario in various situations and map out what you would do. What do your children need to know about calling 911, giving information to first responders, and giving help to others if needed? Yes, this article is about caring for your children in an emergency, but I thought it important to include this situation. I believe that empowering our children to take care of themselves and others is a part of good parenting.
It is beneficial to be educated about child care at various ages. This goes for physical, mental, and emotional needs. The other thing that you need to know is how to spot a life-threatening emergency and how to deal with it. For example, do you know what to do if your child gets burned or crashes their bike into a tree? How about a fall out of a tree or they come down with sudden breathing symptoms? Additionally, it is important to keep updated medical records and insurance info in case of any medical emergencies or hospitalizations. Do also make sure you have a proxy person who has all of this information, too.
When it comes to emergencies, whether they’re medical, environmental, or even emergency dentistry, it is best to get and follow instructions from qualified professionals when possible. This could mean calling 911, your doctor, or asking others for help. That said, there are some cases when there is no time to wait for help and action must be taken. It is in these situations that your child will rely on your knowledge and experience to get them through until help arrives.
In conclusion, supporting children during an emergency is not something that we as moms want to think about, but it is necessary to be prepared. Staying calm, providing comfort, taking action, and seeking help are all things that help everyone during an emergency. Children live what they learn, so be honest with them and show them how to get through an emergency like a champ!