Talking to Children About Emergencies
Start a conversation about what happens when the unexpected happens.
It’s hard to know what to say when talking to children about emergencies. You don’t want to worry them, but it’s important for the whole family to know they can work together to be prepared. These tips will help you talk to children about emergencies, while calming their worries.
- Stay calm and reassure children that you are here to help them and keep them safe. Talk about your family’s emergency plan together so they will know what to do if an emergency happens.
- Explain that an emergency is when something happens that we don’t expect, and we have to act quickly to keep ourselves safe.
- Team up Let children know that you can work together to get ready for emergencies, just like you get ready for a car ride by wearing your seat belts, or by wearing helmets on a bike ride.
- Look for helpers Remind your child that there are so many helpers we can trust to keep us safe in an emergency: teachers, firefighters, emergency responders, doctors, and police officers. Even if a parent is not around, other special helpers will be there for them.
- Encourage questions Ask children if they have any questions, and answer simply and honestly. If you don’t know an answer to a question, say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.”
For more resources related to our Here for Each Other and Let’s Get Ready initiatives, visit https://sesameworkshop.org/about-us/partners/pseg-foundation/
Making an Emergency Kit & Plan
A set of printables to help families prepare for emergencies.
Self-Care: During & After a Crisis
When we care for ourselves, we’re better able comfort and protect children.
Offering Comfort in Scary Times
Ways to comfort children through scary times.
A Hurricane Comes to Sesame Street
Just like Big Bird’s friends help him rebuild his nest after a hurricane, you can help rebuild your child’s sense of safety and security.
Here For Each Other
You can use children’s questions as a springboard for conversation and comfort.
Support After a Hurricane
In the most challenging times, there's still a lot you can do to comfort and protect children.
Handling Emergencies with Andrew Roszak
An interview with Andrew Roszak from Child Care Aware.