How to prepare children for hurricanes
Parents should make kids feel they're in control, expert says
ORLANDO, Fla. – The sight of a storm can be frightening for young children, which is why Orlando Health Pediatrician Dr. Jean Moorjani recommends that parents talk to their kids about hurricane season before the bad weather arrives.
"A good place to start is for parents to ask children, ‘What do you already know?’ Because they may be getting information from other places and they may have heard about an upcoming hurricane from school or from their friends,” Moorjani said.
Dr. Moorjani suggests that, in a way, a hurricane can be interpreted by children as “Mother Nature” giving us a little too much of a good thing.
"So, a lot of rain, a lot of wind. So prepare them for what they may see in the next couple of days," she said.
Moorjani also said that part of preparing children should be helping them feel that they’re in control, and a good place to start would be with your family’s hurricane preparedness checklist.
"Sometimes families can almost make it like a scavenger hunt,” Moorjani told News 6 anchor and meteorologist Julie Broughton. “They can see that they're part of the plan to help everyone get ready."”
Parents should encourage children to pack their own special kit. Remember to include forms of entertainment that can be used without electricity, such as their favorite stuffed animals, toys or games.
Broughton asked Moorjani how parents whose children feel worked up during an actual storm can make them feel safer.
"We can warn them some things may get damaged and some people may get hurt, but again, remind them that we are doing everything we can to keep our families safe,” Moorjani said.
In addition, Moorjani stressed the importance of parents remaining calm and reassuring their children regularly.
“Because there are no surprise hurricanes, that really gives us the gift of time, so we can prepare our family and children," she said.
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