Let's prepare children together to deal with disasters and emergencies

Author

Arezoo Dehghani

Source(s)
Hamshahri

World Children's Day was first designated in 1954 and is celebrated every year to promote international solidarity, children's awareness around the world, and to improve children's well-being. In our country, October 16 is also called Children's Day. In 2020, at least 389 natural disasters were reported in accident log databases, killing 15080 people, affecting another 98.4 million, and causing nearly $ 171.3 billion in economic damage. The damage caused by all kinds of disasters has always been greater in low- and middle-income countries.

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Children, as a social group whose age, ability to meet needs, and social status are subordinated to all social groups, are at the forefront of vulnerable groups in times of disasters. In these situations, children are mostly unable to meet their basic needs, and sometimes their lives are endangered even in the absence of a person, group, or organization. Child abuse and neglect, violence and sexual exploitation, corporal punishment, trafficking, kidnapping, child labour, conscription, deprivation of the child of his rights, crimes, landmines, environmental hazards such as drought, earthquake.

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There are a few things to keep in mind when talking to a child about natural disasters, including that children, at different ages and with different developmental stages, have different perceptions of events, and this should be addressed in detail. Children are also strongly influenced by news, so it is best to stay away from stressful news intelligently. Another way is for parents to follow the news with their children and teens so that they can talk to them about the incident and make them feel safe. Providing information about emergencies and disasters should be calm and without fear so that anxiety does not reach children.

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