Caring for a Child After Disaster Strikes
Looking after children, keeping them entertained, and making them feel safe can be a real challenge, especially in 2016. So how would you continue to do the above if a disaster took place? Disasters happen all over the world and leave many in situations that they simply cannot plan for. If you are part of a disaster relief program and are looking for wholesale bargains and ideas on what to purchase these children, look no further, I am here to help.
It is incredibly important to remember that children cannot always comprehend disaster. A child is easily scared and doesn’t have the same coping ability as an adult. Although basic supplies are a must when it comes to children, there are a few items and activities that can really help ease stress and make them feel safe:
- Keep them busy – Keeping a child busy and calm will help focus their attention on something positive, and take their mind off of the situation around them. When sourcing materials to help with this try to think of an activity that will keep them busy for a while. Books are great because they encourage their imagination to wonder and as a result will distract from their current surroundings. Puzzles have the same impact, by guiding a child’s attention away from their situation will help alleviate stress and keep them calm. Colouring is another great distraction. Most children have enjoyed colouring, so by providing them with a book and pencils creates a familiar feeling which will help make them feel safe and secure.
- Encourage socializing – Items that can encourage children to play with others, so they are not alone, is an excellent way to help children feel safe and focused. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple pack of cards, or a football can help bring a group of people together and create a lot of laughter.
- Something that can be done together – Books, books, and more books. Providing story books is extremely important in this situation. Most children enjoy having a story read to them and is an activity that is familiar. Reading can be done alone, in a pair, or in a group. A great distraction if parents have to keep children entertained while they deal with other issues.
- Plush animals – As cute as they maybe, they don’t always serve a purpose, so instead of purchasing a bunch of stuffed toys, why not invest in blankets. These can be used by everyone and although they may not be as cute as a plush animal they will create a soft, safe, warm and cozy feeling for children.
When the time comes to purchase items for your disaster relief program, make sure you focus a percentage of your budget on products that can keep a child entertained. These gifts will be appreciated by everyone. Also, try to think of their situation: will they have a lot of space? Do they want to be carrying around a lot? Will the items you select survive if they get wet? I found writing this blog a little difficult because I wasn’t focusing on one specific disaster. When the time comes make sure you evaluate the child’s situation, this should help with your purchasing. Remember that children may also experience long term effects of disaster.