Your child’s well-being and safety are extremely important to you. Particularly when he or she is under your care — at your home, outside, during summer or at school — make sure you’ve taken every step possible to ensure safety and security.
SAFETY AT HOME
When planning ways to keep your child safe, remember that she or he is constantly changing. Review your family’s home and habits often to make sure your safeguards remain appropriate for your child’s age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers numerous hints for at-home safety, including:
- Bathroom safety
- Child abuse
- First aid
- Kitchen safety
- Toy safety
- Water hazards.
Even if you create the perfect environment for your child inside your home, she’ll be spending a lot of time outside, where surroundings are somewhat less controllable. Your personal supervision will remain the most valuable protection.
Warm, sunny days are wonderful for playing and exercising outside. And while the sun feels good on your skin, what feels good can also harm you and your family. So don’t forget the sunscreen!
Tips for Helping Children Cope with Recent Wildfires
Aide for Families
Learn more about direct aid at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. More information on the federal Individual Disaster Assistance program is available online.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, operates a 24-hour, 7 days a week, toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline providing access to counselors at the closest crisis center in their nationwide network at (800) 985-5990. There, staff provide immediate, confidential (multilingual) counseling, referrals and other needed support services.
Many of the surrounding areas are facing air quality issues. CDC has a fact sheet on the hazards of smoke from fire and precautions that should be taken. Access the fact sheet here.
Here are some additional resources on how to help your children cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster:
- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event — Center for Disease Control
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Children Impacted by Wildfires — National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Recovery After a Wildfire — National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Helping Children Cope — Department of Homeland Security
- Parent Guidelines for Crisis Response — American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
Taking a few steps for safety now – such as by using the American Academy of Pediatrics age-appropriate safety checklists — could mean big improvements for your child’s health and future! To help find out more and to promote safety steps and efforts, wherever you live and play, sign up to receive our free email news and contact your local PTA for information on safety programs, issues and resources at school.