Helping children cope with emergencies

Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention outlines a list of factors that could affect your child's emotional response. They also offer valuable advice on how you can help your child cope with a disaster. Perhaps the most important insight from the CDC is the advice for helping children cope at different stages of a crisis. 


  • Make it a habit to talk to your children about emergencies and crisis situations from time to time
  • Use online resources to create a plan for you and your kids. Kids feel more confident when they know there's a plan!


  • Stay calm and be the reassuring voice for your children
  • Talk to them about what's happening in terms they can understand (age-appropriate language is important) 


  • Create space to allow them to share their perspective; encourage them to ask questions
  • Give kids something to do...some way to contribute such as writing a letter or drawing a picture thanking those on the frontline
  • Align engagement with children across all those who interact with them (e.g. teachers, co-parents, etc.).

We hope these tips give you some useful actions to take to help prepare your family for navigating crisis situations. 




About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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