Blog/Opinion

Helping Children Cope with Disaster

Author:
FEMA
Source:
FEMA
Contributor:
Publication Year:
2004
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This booklet offers parents, caregivers, and other adults suggestions on how to help children cope with the effects of disaster, as well as how to be prepared before a disaster strikes.

Children can feel very frightened during a disaster and afterwards some children will show temporary changes of behavior. For most children these changes will be mild, not last long, and diminish with time. However, reminders of what happened could cause upsetting feelings to return and behavior changes to emerge again. Watching scenes of the disaster on television can be distressing for children, especially for younger children. Younger children may return to bed-wetting, have difficulty sleeping, and not want to be separated from their caregivers. Older children may show more anger than usual, find concentrating at school harder, and want to spend more time alone than usual. Some children are more vulnerable, and their reactions can be more severe and last for a longer period of time.

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