Certain disasters end quickly, while others affect large populations for an extended period of time. Disasters can have physical, mental, and emotional consequences. Each person prepares and responds differently to a disaster; however, children are at increased risk during and after a disaster for a variety of reasons.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has provided information about the unique needs of children in disasters, and the need to ensure children’s needs are addressed in all disaster preparedness plans. Information is available for pediatricians as well as parents and other audiences such as schools and child care providers.
The AAP has created a document titled “The Youngest Victims: Disaster Preparedness to Meet Children’s Needs” that you can share with others to help raise awareness as to why children are at increased risk or are more vulnerable in a disaster. As a parent, caregiver or teacher, emergency professional, health professional, or a child advocate, you can work with others in your community to ensure children’s needs are addressed in all disaster preparedness plans.
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