Why EVERY Family Should Have A Family Emergency Action Plan 5 years ago

Why EVERY Family Should Have A Family Emergency Action Plan

Compared to those in so many other parts of the world, Irish children enjoy a general level of safety that means they are rarely exposed to risk or danger.

However, none of us know exactly what's around the corner. If the worst should happen, would your kids know what to do?

A leading child psychologist has urged parents everywhere to talk to their children about emergency situations and to come up with a family action plan that can be put into place should a major event occur.

Speaking to Fatherly, New York psychologist Dr Sanam Hafeez laid out some simple topics to speak to your children about today:

1. What is an emergency?

“Your child could literally be in an emergency and not realise it,” Dr. Hafeez  says, “An emergency is something very serious or very dangerous, like if mommy or daddy is hurt and can’t get to the phone, or you’re alone and no one can come to you for help, or someone’s trying to break in the door or there are bad people in the house,”

2. Who should you call?

Does your child know how to find a phone and contact emergency services? Do they know they can call 999 or 112 for help? Having these numbers in a visible place near the phone could be the difference between life or death. If you use a mobile phone, make sure your child knows the security code and how to override it.

3. Stranger danger doesn't apply

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“Parents are always telling their children ‘Don’t listen to anyone else,’ but they should listen to that person,” Dr.  Hafeez continued. She advises practicing relating important information to a paramedic and following instructions given by them.

4. Be very detailed

“Your child doesn’t know what ‘Go to a safe place’ means,” says Dr Hafeez. Be very specific about where to go, which neighbour to run to and which route to take there in the even of an emergency.

5. Role play

If a situation is familiar to a child, it'll be easier for them to deal with it if it should happen in real life. “Practice things like, ‘If there was a fire in this room what door would you go out from? What problems might you run into? If you can’t find mom, which neighbour would you go to?’,” says Dr. Hafeez.

For more tips from Dr Hafeez, read the full interview here