Disaster deeply impacts children regardless of their age. Children may feel upset after any disaster. Few children react immediately, but others have signs of difficulty later on in their life. The effect of digester on a child’s mind can vary according to age, past experiences, and how they typically able to cope with disaster. In this article, we will discuss how to help children cope with disaster.
Let’s focus on this matter.
How To Help Children Cope With Disaster?
Disaster is a serious disruption that may occur for a short period of time or long term basis and which can cause loss of human, material, economic, or environmental. And the affected community will not be able to cope with disaster by using their own resources. Any type of disaster can be scary for children.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc hampers the normal routine life of children. If the guardian explains about disaster easily then it will decrease their fear. Children are aware of parents concerns that’s why they become very sensitive about the event. Below the discussion will be helpful for those who are wondering how can I help my child cope with disaster?
i. Before Disaster
First of all, it is essential to explain the event to the children. The preparation should be explained to them. Any vital plan like a safety plan can enhance their confidence level. In case of emergency, they can take proper action. Children can learn some tricks of survival. They will be able to prepare their mind to face the disaster.
ii. During Disaster
The most critical time for children is during the disaster period. The guardian should stay calm. They should reassure children about the event. They should talk to children about the event in simple ways. And the child should be safe during a disaster.
iii. After Disaster
After a disaster is over, children should feel free to express their emotions to the guardian. But in this critical time, it is hard for the guardian to deal with children regarding the disaster. Here are some useful tips for the guardian-
• Limit Time On Watching TV
We all know the importance of TV during the post-disaster period. We can stay updated about the event by hearing the news on TV. But spending too much time on TV news has a bad impact on the children.
Graphic images and reports about the disaster may confuse and frighten the children. Too many reports of the disaster can horrify them. So the guardian should limit the time on watching TV news or reports.
• Make Children Feel Safe
Safety is a vital element in anyone’s life. So it is necessary to make children feel safe about themselves after a disaster. If they don’t feel safe, they will worry about everything.
• Maintain Daily Routine
Maintaining a daily routine will be helpful to reduce the mental stress of a child after a disaster. It will make them more efficient. It will reduce the planned time. Using a daily routine can save time. It enables children to give more priority in essential tasks. It also enhances the conference.
By using daily routine, children can accomplish their goals. Thus it helps to improve our emotional and mental health.
• Share Information About The Event
The children should well aware of the event. They should realize that disaster may occur at any time. Parents should discuss the matter properly. They should share information particularly beneficial for coping with disaster.
• Listen To Children
When a child is concern over anything, they become reserve and shy in expressing their true feelings. The guardian should be open-minded and a good listener. Children might have thousands of questions regarding disaster. These questions should be evaluated briefly.
If the guardian reassure children about the event, their fear will reduce. Continues reassurance process will help them to think positively.
• Provide Extra Time And Attention
After a disaster, the guardian should provide extra time and attention towards the children. Children become vulnerable to any situation. So guardians should treat them with extra love and care.
• Engage Children With Activities
If the children can engage them with extra activities, then they have a little time to worry. They also feel positive about themselves if they can serve the affected people. As volunteers, they can mix up with unknown people. It increases their knowledge, views, ideas, thoughts, etc.
These factors will be useful to apply later in their life. They can develop new skills. They explore new experience which may seem passionate to them. Involving humanitarian works will definitely make the children happy.
These are some tips for coping with disaster.
How Can We Help Children Who Are Victims Of Disasters?
Children can be affected by disaster through many interrelated pathways. Disaster causes direct physical harm to the victims. So proper medical care should be taken.
A disaster increases children stress and trauma, which can be exacerbated by witnessing parents stress. For a specific type of disaster, children will respond differently according to their different circumstances. Impact of disaster also vary across boundaries and borders in the context of socioeconomic conditions, political status, financial conditions of parents, etc. Whatever the situation might be involved, children victims suffer from some specific problems.
Among these thousands of problems, firstly food problems strike. Due to a lack of proper food, children suffer from hunger. This leads to a deficiency of vitamins and calories in the body. So food priority should be given to the children.
Unhygienic conditions and lack of safe drinking water can cause infectious diseases to spread. For this, safe drinking water should be the first priority.
Research shows that children may suffer from mental health problems like Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, sleep disorder, etc after a disaster. This disorder hampers the daily function of the children. So, these should be evaluated by doctors. If needed, adequate counseling should be provided.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you treat a child with trauma?
A child affected by trauma is very vulnerable to maintain emotional and mental health. So he or she should treat with care, love, and support. A child should feel safe and secure. They should not force to describe their traumatic event. Plus medical support should be taken for clinical trauma evaluation.
What are the signs of trauma in a child?
Signs of trauma can be expressed through a variety of responses like emotional upset, depression, anxiety, behavioral changes, difficulties in sleep, lack of energy, problems in eating or digestion, difficulty in concentration, confusion, anger, etc. Some children have a hard time solving daily tasks. Some feel guilty about themselves. The signs of trauma in a child vary according to their circumstances, age, sex, etc.
This article will improve to understand how to help children cope with disaster. After disaster strikes, immediate assessment and management should be taken for children.
If we are able to help them cope with disaster, tomorrow they will make a better world for a living. It is not possible to avoid disaster, but it is possible to teach children coping with it.