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#111523 - 11/05/07 06:46 PM Preparedness for kids
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Does anyone have any suggestions about teaching preparedness to young kids?

My son is 4 yrs old. We've always prepared FOR him but have recently begun preparing WITH him, at least on a small scale. We've started teaching him about being prepared and what to do in case an emergency should happen.

We talk about and practice things like in-home emergencies (fire, power failure, etc...), as well as out of the house emergencies (getting lost, snow storms, car accidents, etc...) We often go on hikes and he's got a backpack that includes some very rudimentary stuff like a whistle, flashlight, orange garbage bag, water bottle, granola bar, extra sweater/jacket and socks, etc.

We don't want him to be scared, and there's little chance that he'll be alone in the near future, so we're sticking to the basics that are age appropriate right now.

Any ideas?
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#111526 - 11/05/07 07:02 PM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: bacpacjac]
raydarkhorse Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
Sounds like your on the right track, just keep adding to the lessons as he gets older.
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Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

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#111527 - 11/05/07 07:07 PM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: bacpacjac]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
I started teach my daughter stuff when she was 3, she's 4 now.

Topics:
1. what to do in a fire.
Our local firehouse has a program where you can bring your kid there and a fireman shows how he gets into his gear. This is to show the kids that the big, scary looking thing charging through the burning house is actually coming to rescue you and you shouldn't hide.

2. Dog attack.
When we are out on our nightly walks I'll occasionally say, "Bad dog!". When DD1 hears this she immedaetely drops to the ground, curls up into a ball and protects her neck with her hands. Of course, sometimes She'll yell "Bad dog" and I'm the one who has to drop and curl. My neighbors love this. blush

3. Car safety.
This covers things like why we buckle up, proper ways to sit in the car seat, etc.

4. Street safety.
This includes how to cross the street but also things like never stopping in the street to pick something up, don't stand behind parked cars (never know when someone will backup), don't stand in driveways (someone may suddenly pull in).

5. Critter safety
Be careful around other people's pets and wild animals. What insects/spiders can hurt you and which you can play with.

6. Eddie the Eagle NRA gun safety for children.

7. Hug a tree
What to do if lost in the woods. Find a tree, stay with it, blow your whistle three times then wait for voices. Repeat until found. She likes practicing this one because she likes blowing her whistle.

8. Common edible plants.

9. Stranger safety.
Be polite but keep your distance coupled with "Say "No", get away, tell an adult".

10. If she sees a mushroom cloud get inside and turn off the AC units. This grew out of watching "Jericho" together.

-Blast
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#111540 - 11/05/07 08:09 PM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: raydarkhorse]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2811
Loc: La-USA
It sounds to me like you, Blast, and many others who hang out here are on target.

I like building emergency shelters with the nephew when we camp out. I also "assist" him with cooking, setting up and tearing down the campsite.

This past weekend, we practiced using most of his survival equipment.

Everything on this subject can be a fun learning experience when I let my nephew get his hands on it and guide him through the experience.
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#111556 - 11/05/07 09:35 PM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: wildman800]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Channeled Scablands
My 4 year old enjoyed following a compass bearing to an old plane
wreck I had GPS coordinates for. About 1/2 mile of flat wooded
terrain. Reward-snacks and he got to bring back a small piece of it.

Something else we tell him and friends when hiking is about
mountain lions. A small but real threat, it helps keep the kids
close (which is what you want for other threats as well as lions).


Edited by clearwater (11/05/07 09:37 PM)

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#111565 - 11/05/07 10:11 PM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: bacpacjac]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
In addition to working with him, take a look at the materials here:
http://www.sanmateocert.org/disaster_prep.htm

There's a .pdf file on how to help children cope, along with other files on preparedness which you may find useful (pets, for example, if your son has a pet).

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#111595 - 11/06/07 01:11 AM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: philip]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Keep it simple and fun right now. Young kids have the attention span of a gnat, but they also retain a lot that can pop up later (like, when it's needed).

Backyard camping is great for young ones. Home is close, so it isn't too scary. A lot of the things you want to teach can be turned into games, and remembering those games can really make a difference.

You can start playing the What If...? game. What to do if the neighbor boy is playing with matches and setting grass on fire? What to do if the neighbor's aggressive dog is running loose? What if he sees smoke coming from an electrical outlet?

First, ask what he would do if such a thing was happening. (His answers can also be a clue for a possible day when it happens, he disappears... what he tells you could help you find him.) If he gives a good answer, be sure and tell him that was a great idea. If there are better ways, go over them and see what he thinks of them, ask how he might improve on them.

There are a thousand What If games you can play.

The Hug a Tree is so important, and most parents don't seem to realize it. Two years from now, he could be with a friend's family, and they both get lost together. Talk about shelter and burrowing into dry leaves, etc.

Avoid the "I'm going to protect my child from everything" mindset. TEACH him how to use matches, TEACH him how to safely handle a knife. TEACH him not to try to catch or pet wild animals.

In other words, teach him how to think for himself.

Is there any chance you're homeschooling?

Sue

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#111598 - 11/06/07 01:38 AM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: Susan]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2811
Loc: La-USA
I am homeschooling my nephew and others at every opportunity.

As usual Sue, your words are always worth reading and considering, Thank you,,,,Bo
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QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#111603 - 11/06/07 02:05 AM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: wildman800]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
One thing that my dad and grandfather always did was ask simple questions that made us think. I do it with my son and the other boys in my troop to this day. You can use the technique virtually anywhere. Things like:
Dinnertime at the table, "what would you do if you saw me starting to choke?"

Taking a walk, "imagine that I fell and couldn't get up?"
Driving up north skiing, on a long stretch of isolated road, "what if the car ran out of gas here?".

Later, skiing, "what if you went off the trail into a tree and broke a leg?"

You're walking back from fishing: "What if you and your buddies take the shortcut from the fishing hole at the lake and miss a turn, it's now dark, and you don't know where the trail is, what do you do?"

Learning is forever on preparedness. It's great that you're starting them young, and the good news is, you never stop. One day, they go away and you hope you've done the best you can. Hopefully they make it long enough so you can do the same for your grandkids!
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- Ron

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#111605 - 11/06/07 02:20 AM Re: Preparedness for kids [Re: Be_Prepared]
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 639
Loc: SoCal, USA
Inspired by members here, I started playing "What would you do if..." with my two oldest. One school age, the other almost school age. They each got to take a turn, and if they got stumped, the other could offer suggestions too. We'd play in the car most often. Problem is that they liked the game so much that I began to get myself stumped for different questions/situations!

I try to make the quick, short lessons a normal occurrence. When we roast marshmallows in the backyard fire bowl, and the kiddos remark about how dangerous fire is, I redirect them by telling them that fire is a good thing, an important thing, but you have to be careful with it and respect it. I mention that it can keep us warm and cook food and boil water. Enough of those kinds of lessons, and they stick. Sue is right; the attention span of the youngins' is quite short, but keeping things fun, and being repetitive with the information is the best way to go. I'm a teacher, and recently I've been doing a lot of subbing with early childhood age kids. They like the repetition, and when they hear something enough, they remember it.

Only problem with my kids is that their fingers aren't strong enough for them to open their "My First SAK" yet frown

Stay after it, keep it fun, and talk to them constantly! And look forward to those questions that show they are catching on!
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