Talking To Kids About COVID-19 And Having An Emergency Preparedness Plan



emergency preparedness plan

The coronavirus pandemic is the perfect example of why you must always have an emergency preparedness plan. It's not enough for you to know it, you should also share it with your family, especially the kids. Here's how to get the conversation going.

Making Kids Understand an Emergency Preparedness Plan

Many of us have spent more time with our kids over the last month than we have in the last six months! This is particularly true of the new teleworking parents. It's certainly been a stressful blessing. You feel weird, right?

Imagine how your kid feels. Their whole routine has been rocked, too! The difference is they don’t likely have the life experience to really understand it. Not to mention, they are also trying to continue their schooling at home, which is probably quite the struggle.

Tell Them What’s Going On 

What kids want to know is what is going on. Why is everything closed? When will things get better? When can they walk through the aisles at target and make you buy them more toys they do not need. Sarcasm-ish.

Remember, when you are explaining things to kids you need to use simple terms they understand. It also helps to use examples they understand. Say something like:

“People can easily get sick from this virus. Some people can get so sick they need to go to the hospital. There is even a small group of people who can die from this virus. So, we need to be careful. It's best if we stay home.”

Explain the isolation to your kids as an opportunity to enjoy your home and each other. Focus on the benefits of isolation. Don’t give them a laundry list of all the things that they enjoy that are closed. Instead, focus on some of your favorite things to do at home and in the yard.

Once your child understands what is going on, they will be able to deal with it. The best therapy is going to be keeping them busy. So, let's look at some things you can do to prep with your kids.

Virus Prepping with Kids 


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1. Make a Mask

Over 70% of people agree that wearing a mask helps stop the spread of the virus. So, it might be a great idea to sit down, pick out some fabric, and start making your own masks for your family members.

Remember, you don’t have to have success in everything you do. If you cannot sew, look into fabric glue as an option.

Here are some great DIY Mask tutorials if you are interested in taking this on with your child.

2. Plan a Community Event

Community is a massive part of preparedness and an often-neglected part. You cannot face any emergency alone, at least you shouldn’t.

It might seem crazy to plan a community event with social distancing being a factor. However, people all over the nation are being very creative in creating events like driveway art shows and walking Easter egg hunts where you hide a large Easter Egg in your yard for those who walk by to find.

Get creative here and you can keep morale up both in your kids and your neighbors!

3. Dehydrate and Pack Some Food

Dehydration is magic to kids. It is a process that is hard to understand and on the other side, they even get a yummy treat!

My recommendation is to start with apples. They can help with peeling and maybe even coring depending on their age. If they are older, they can slice them, too!

I like the skin on my dehydrated apples, so we just core them and slice them into about ½ inch rounds. I like the circle in the center from the coring process. This helps them dry fast, too.

Preheat the oven to your lowest setting or just ready the dehydrator. In an oven, you can lay them directly on the racks or on a smaller wire rack and begin the process. It should take about 6-8 hours.

If you have smaller Mylar bags you can even show them how to pack them up and heat seal them. Kids go crazy when they see they can create their own little snack bags that are sealed up like something from the supermarket.

Build a First Aid Kit Together

With all the medical talk in the news, it might help to familiarize your own child with some first aid items. They are hearing words like PPE and ventilators in the news every day. They might even be hearing these words come out of your mouth.

To make them more comfortable with all this medical lingo you should bring out the family first aid kit and build a smaller Boo Boo kit with your child. You can show them what a tourniquet looks like and how it works and then you can pack them up a kit of their own.

Keeping the Family in the Loop

This is a tough time for everyone. COVID-19 has affected us on many levels. It has obliterated our confidence in government preparedness, it has made us afraid of our community and it has hurt our economic futures.

The difference between us and our children is that we have a lifetime of experience to draw from. We have seen hard times. We have read books that introduced us to ideas like these. For our children they have been taken out of their routine and thrust into a new world they do not understand.

Do your best to explain the situation to them and most importantly have some patience. Put together an emergency preparedness plan and explain it to the entire family.


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