Family emergency: 3 techniques to help stay calm.
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels
It is impossible to predict an emergency. Whether it is a hurricane, an automobile accident, or a child injured while playing sports, emergencies happen out of nowhere. During emergency situations, children pick up cues from their parents. They are aware of the feelings and the behaviors that their parents show during an emergency.
Irrational thinking, screaming, and crying will only frighten children and make them feel more anxious. Therefore, parents need to stay calm. How can parents do this? Here are a few tips that can help a family stay calm during an emergency.
It all starts with preparation
When there is an emergency, a prepared family will know how to act will have the tools at hand that will allow them to act. It is important to have emergency phone numbers posted next to the house phone and programmed into everyone’s mobile phones. It is recommended that besides having important numbers stored digitally, parents and children have a printed copy of important numbers that they carry with them in their wallet, purse, or backpack.
Emergency medication should be organized and easy to access. Panic is created when a family member needs an inhaler, an EpiPen, or heart medication and it can’t be found. However, if things are well organized and everyone knows where their medicine is, it can be quickly accessed and administered.
Many families have taken CPR first aid classes. This way everyone in the family knows how to respond if an emergency situation arises.
Preparation includes creating a plan of action. If there is a fire, what exits will be used? If the primary exit is blocked, what is the second exit? If everyone gets separated, where do you meet? If an emergency or disaster takes place while the children are in school or parents are at work, what are the emergency plans?
If your family does not have answers to these questions, now is the time to plan.
When emergency situations happen, even the best plans can fail. Therefore, practicing regularly is important. It is not enough to simply identify the emergency exits. Parents should have fire drills so their children know where to go, when ago, and how to go.
Teach toddlers to dial 911. Disconnect the house phone or the cell phone from the service. Teach the child how to dial 911 in an emergency. It may suffice for the child to simply ask for help.
Even after receiving CPR and first aid classes, it is suitable for family members to practice the procedures among themselves. This will keep the procedures fresh in mind and make it easier for all in the family to act calmly if an emergency arises.
Teach children to remember their first and last name, home address, and phone number. Run through drills with them and reward them for being able to recognize and recite these things.
All the planning and all the practice will pay off during the emergency. In the rush of adrenaline, it is easy to lose one’s cool. The human brain produces fight or flight or freeze responses. These impact your brain, your heart, your digestive system, and your lungs. All of this makes it difficult to think clearly and to act decisively.
The first thing parents need to do during an emergency is to make sure that all in the family are okay. Parents lead by example. If they don’t panic and if they stay calm, their children will follow suit.
Get to a safe place. That safe place could be the prearranged meeting location or an area outside of the immediate danger.
Parents can help maintain calm by talking to their children about happy and positive things. There might be sirens, police, and emergency vehicles all around. However, parents can explain to their children that these individuals are trained and are here to help.
Time and unforeseen occurrences befall everyone. This means that disasters and emergencies can strike without warning and when you least expect. However, if families plan in advance, practice what they are going to do, and take steps to stay calm, they will be able to successfully weather any family emergency.