Talk To Your Kids

Undoubtedly, kids will have many questions when emergencies occur. Here are some things to keep in mind as children react to emergency events.

Children's Reactions

There are normal reactions you can expect children to have when they are confronted with disasters or emergencies. Those normal reactions include:
  • Increased fears not necessarily related to the disaster
  • Problems with going to sleep
  • Reluctance in being separated from parents
  • Stomachaches or headaches
Considerations
As you talk to children about disasters, take these things into consideration:

  • Allow children to talk about the feelings they have and the feelings other people have had about the event.
  • Kids need to be reassured about their immediate safety.
  • Ask kids what they think about the event. Engaging them in conversation will be comforting. If you can't answer a question, it is okay to say you don't know.
  • Limit kids' exposure to television and radio coverage of the news. Graphic images can be very upsetting and scary.
  • Provide a simple explanation of the event. It may be helpful to ask what they have heard and seen on television.
  • Reassure kids about your own safety while at work.
  • Remind them that you put their safety first.
Click here (PDF) for a fun and informative children's book "Playing it Safe." You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. The book is brought to you by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.