As parents, we all worry about our kids, but one of our biggest concerns is that we won’t be there when our kids are facing an emergency situation. While rare, there are plenty of instances where your child might be caught in a serious scenario when you’re not with them or available to help them right away. Here are some tips for preparing an emergency kit for your child so that they will have some minimal supplies available to help them.
Generally speaking, here are some likely possible emergency situations your child could face at some point:
- A school emergency (lock-down)
- A school bus accident
- A Regional emergency (natural disaster, storm, power outage)
In any of these, there will hopefully be adults to provide assistance and comfort to your child. However, there will probably be fewer adults than children, so having a few supplies on hand for your child will enable them to care for themselves in the short term until more help arrives.
When creating a small emergency kit for your child, consider a few likely scenarios to get ideas of the supplies you’ll need. You can be as elaborate as you want, but remember, this is a contingency kit and it needs to be light enough to keep with them or small enough to stow in a cubby or desk as school. Here’s a list of some of the more important items to include in your emergency kit:
- Water – Tuck a small, 6-ounce bottle of water into the kit for an emergency supply.
- A snack – consider a healthy granola or energy bar with a good amount of protein, which will keep them full longer.
- A small flashlight (replace batteries every six months).
- An emergency whistle (this will come in handy if they are ever lost or if there’s a structure collapse and they are trapped).
- Basic first aid supplies (bandages and first aid cream).
- Antibacterial hand cleaner (a trial size works well).
- A small tube of lip balm.
- A small toy to help soothe them during stressful situations.
- A few hard candies.
- A small package of pre-moistened wipes.
- A space blanket (these collapse into tiny pouches, but they’re great for warmth, to shelter from wind and rain, or to sit on.
Place a recent family photo in your emergency kit as well. This will serve to calm your child and can also help with identification if, for some reason, they are unable to communicate.
As for the type of container to use, there are plenty of options. You can simply place the items in a zip-lock bag and keep in the bottom of their backpack, or you can package items into a container. Keep in mind, these kits are an emergency item and should be kept small, light and portable. If it’s too bulky, your child won’t carry it and won’t have it when they need it.
Talk with your child about emergencies
As you assemble your emergency kit, show your child what’s in there and have a discussion about when they would need to use it. Don’t scare them with hypotheticals; let them know that if something happens, they can find the things they need in their emergency kit.