It is important that your entire family knows how to handle emergencies. And this is especially important for your kids. Do not risk your children’s safety. Especially during these uncertain times and with the likelihood of some of us being quarantined due to COVID-19, make sure your kids know what to do. If you are not sure where to start, you should start here.
Here are five things to teach your kids about emergency preparedness.
1. First Aid and CPR
Should your family encounter an emergency, everyone needs to know basic first aid skills. Take time now with your children to make sure everything in your first aid kit is stocked and not out of date. You should have one in your home and one in your vehicle. Also, be certain to cover essential and age-appropriate first aid procedures.
For any of your family members around nine years of age or older, CPR is a life-saving skill that can be learned. While there is no legal age limit in place, experts agree that around that age children can safely learn CPR. It depends on each child, so be certain to ask your instructor to help determine if your kid is ready or not.
2. Water and Food Necessities
You need to make sure that you have water and food clearly identified as only for emergencies. Make sure your family knows where these items will be if faced with an emergency. As a general rule of thumb, you should have one gallon of water per day for each family member. And when it comes to food, you must be certain all of your emergency food is non-perishable.
Don’t forget you must have all the gear needed to make sure any food can be opened and prepared. Store with other emergency items your water and food needs. Items you should have are a can opener, lighter, soap, cups, plates, and at least one knife, one spoon, and one cooking pot.
3. Evacuation Routes
If an emergency requires you and your family to leave town, you must make sure that everyone is aware of how to access the best evacuation routes. Everyone in your family should know these routes if evacuating by car or on foot. If for some reason your kids found themselves on foot, you want them to know the fastest ways to get to the home of a family member or friend, a nearby hospital, the police station, a firehouse, and even the nearest highway.
And don’t forget to have an atlas in your vehicle, and at least one map or atlas in your home. To make sure you are covered, you need to place a foldable map with the rest of your emergency-only materials.
4. Upkeep and Maintenance
Think about the items your family relies on every day. Make sure you have plenty of adapters, batteries, chargers, and chords. Create an emergency-use only container of those types of items. It is also wise to keep one of these in your car along with jumper cables, a lighter, a first-aid kit, and a gallon of water. If space permits, keep one can of non-perishable food in your vehicle for each family member. Having your car prepped with an emergency kit with all of these materials in one place is also a good idea.
Speaking of vehicles, ask your family to help you keep an eye on tire air levels. Get your children to check oil change stickers with you. You don’t want to risk being stranded during an emergency if you need to get somewhere different. Whether it is your car or another item your family counts on, engage your family when it comes to upkeep and maintenance. Staying on top of things is critical to being fully prepared.
5. Emergency Contact Plans
Do not forget to go over contact plans with your children. Your kids need to know the best ways to reach you if not you are not around, reach other family members or friends, and how to get in touch with emergency personnel.
Not only should your kids know who to contact and how to reach them, but they also need to know all of the important numbers by memory. Teach them how to access a phone should your phone or their phone stop working. Keep a contact book handy in your home with other emergency items.
By paying proper attention to the five tips above, your kids can be ready for any emergency. It is so important that they have the tools and skills to help themselves in an emergency situation even when you aren’t around. By preparing your kids they will be more confident in how to handle any situation. Also, they will be more resourceful adults in the future.