How to survive in emergency: tell your child about the important things

After February 24, 2022, the lives of all Ukrainians changed radically. We learned to survive on our own, many learned to save others: from injuries, under bombardments, under rubble, in a humanitarian disaster.

The first thing parents want to do in an emergency is to protect their children. We always try to save. But we can’t always be physically next to each other. Therefore, it is worth teaching children the basic things that save lives in emergency situations, be it war, natural disaster, man-made disaster or any other factor. The child must be smart, prudent and clearly understand how to act. So talk to the children about it, explain, remind, model situations (a game is good for the smaller ones, more serious for the older ones). You will be calmer and keep your nerves when you understand that your children are ready for the vicissitudes of fate.

Keep calm!

The rule number 1:  don’t panic under any circumstances. Fear blocks our ability to think logically and apply the knowledge and rules learned earlier. Panic actions can only harm and cause chaos. A clear understanding of action algorithms will help the child to be confident, not to be scared and, ultimately, to save his life and health. Do not think that children are helpless and are not capable of anything without you. We know cases when preschoolers quite knowingly and successfully saved smaller children from a fire.

What to do during shelling and bombing?

Teach children to behave properly during shelling and rocket attacks.

The situation when the shelling finds the child at home, when the parents are not there: you should choose a place according to the “rule of two walls” – not near the window, but where there will be two walls between the street and the person (at home, show the child such protected places in advance). It is better to lie down than to stand.

When you are on the street, you should hide behind an obstacle (ditch, thick concrete wall) at the beginning of the shelling. Lie on the ground, cover your head, cover your ears with your hands and open your mouth to avoid concussion. You can leave the shelter no earlier than 10 minutes after the end of the attack.

Teach your child how to handle anxiety when he is not with you

Be sure to show the child all the official bomb shelters located where the child can be alone: ​​near home, school, the nearest store, etc., and teach him or her not to hesitate to go to the shelter when the siren sounds, notifying the parents immediately by phone (of course, while the child is in school, teachers will take care of safety).

It is important that the child understands which rooms are absolutely not suitable for use as storage: entrances under arches, cluttered basements of panel high-rise buildings, which can easily collapse and turn into a trap. We remind you that you cannot use the elevator!

If you live in the private sector and have your own cellar, use it as a bomb shelter only if it has been properly prepared and equipped, in particular, there is a second exit.

Stay in touch

Communication is of primary importance: of course, now every child has a mobile phone. But the connection and the Internet can disappear. If it happens, it is important to refrain from panic and excessive worries about beloved ones. Talk to your child in advance and agree on how to behave when it is not possible to call.

The child must understand which of the adults he can ask for help: to call the parents, help a child get home or to the shelter. Teach the child which people to avoid contact with (drunk, suspicious persons, people who may be dangerous).

Explain to the children what official sources of information are and why turning to policeman for help is better than to anyone else.

First aid

Teenagers can be taught first aid skills for injuries, burns, etc. Actually, children should learn this at school, but it’s good to consolidate this knowledge, to attend relevant practical training together (many free survival and first aid training are available, find them in your city). Well-learned skills will last for years, and maybe one day your child will save someone’s life.