Emergency Plans for Preschoolers
"How well we prepare ourselves to deal with all types of emergency situations will determine our success in managing them," says Debra Holtzman, a safety expert and author of the "Safe Baby".
Planning ahead will also go a long way to giving you peace of mind that your family can handle anything.
At the Caregiver's
- Ask your child's preschool, daycare center, or babysitter about their emergency plans. Ask where caregivers take the children in the event of an emergency and ask what supplies they have on hand. Provide them with at least a one-day supply of your child's essential items, such as medications. Make sure caregivers are trained in infant/child CPR and first aid.
- Decide whether you or your spouse would pick up your child if necessary. Establish a place for all of the family members to meet.
- Prepare an emergency contact list to give to your child's caregiver. It should include parents' and grandparents' home, work, and cell/pager phone numbers. Also, include the phone number of a friend or relative outside of the emergency area. (If there is an emergency over a broad area, you'll have a better chance of communicating with a long-distance call than a local one.)
- Install a monitored alarm system as a preventative against home invasions and fire.
- Practice how to leave your home in case of a fire.
- Designate a room in your home that will be your safe room. A big closet or a room with no outside walls or only one outside wall and small, if any, windows. Consider installing a steel-framed, solid core door.
- Assemble a fully stocked disaster supplies kit. Include a first-aid kit and manual, nonperishable foods, water, prescription and necessary over-the-counter medication, manual can opener, flashlights, radio and batteries. Your kit should contain -- at a minimum -- a three-day supply. Store the kit in easy-to-carry containers, like duffle bags.
- Post a list of emergency numbers near every phone in your home. Include the National Poison Hotline (1-800-222-1222), police, pediatrician, dentist, pediatrician and fire department. Also, include the telephone number of a friend or relative living outside of the emergency area.
- Teach children how to call 911 for help.