by Lucila Figuereo
I have my emergency plan posted up on my bulletin board which contains phone numbers to call in case of a emergency (ex: hospital. doctor, poison control center, a list of backup childcare providers, a list of the children I take care of, where the parents work, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc.)
Emergency Medical and First Aid Plans
In case of an emergency, first I will call EMS (911), secondly, the parents, third, the family child care programs, and fourth, fill out an an medical/accident/injury report. I am CPR/First Aid certified by the Red Cross and I own a First Aid kit, and I will use my knowledge to help your child. I will call an ambulance if I see your child exhibit any of these signals of sudden illness:
* is unconscious, unusually confused * difficulty breathing, breathing in a strange way
* feeling lightheaded, dizzy, confused, or weak * changes in skin color (pale or flushed) sweating * vomiting or passing blood * seizure * slurred speech * difficulty seeing * severe headache * persistent pressure or pain * paralysis or inability to move * has persistent pain or pressure in chest or abdomen * appears to have been poisoned * has injuries to the head, neck or back * other symptoms that I consider uncommon
Plan For Hurricane
In case of emergency such as the proximity of a hurricane, the following plan has been developed for the safety and well-being of my family and the children that I am caring for at that time.
CONDITION IV: When the path of the hurricane has been established and indicates possible threat of destructive force of winds within 72 hours, I will identify ahead of time a place of shelter, according to what is announced on the news. I will also keep the Police, Hospital, and Fire Department phone numbers handy.
CONDITION III: The hurricane continues to advance and has possible destructive wind force within 48 hours. I will call the children's parents to keep them aware of the situation. I will place all loose toys, bicycles, and other items outside the house in a shelter, tied up and/or properly secured. I will assemble a disaster supply kit that will include: a First Aid kit and essential medications, baby food, pet food, and a supply of milk for infants. I will also pack canned food and bottled water for drinking and sanitary purposes, a battery powered radio, flashlights, and candles. All the windows will be secured and protected.
CONDITION II: Destructive winds of hurricane force are possible within 24 hours. I will turn off all unnecessary electronic appliances, recheck the first aid kit, emergency supplies, baby clothes and children's items, double check doors windows and articles to be tied down.
CONDITION I: Hurricane is anticipated within 12 hours and is imminent. I will listen to the weather reports on local radio stations and keep the children busy and calmed down as the storm passes by. In case of evacuation, we will follow the instructions to the nearest evacuation centers previously described, bringing only essential items such as blankets, clothing, children's needs and medication, flashlights, etc. Child care will open only for Alpha personnel or a unit that will deploy.
HOME CHILD CARE PLAN IN CASE OF POISONING
I will keep my Child Care Home safe from poisoning by having continuous inspections and avoiding children from reaching-out items that may present a poison hazard to them. MY possible poisonous items such as detergents, soaps, medications, etc., are always out of the reach of the children and properly stored and locked-up. In the remote event that, or when I suspect that one of the children shows sign of being poisoned, the following measures will be taken to prevent further injuries:
I will immediately call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and follow the instructions given to me, or I will call 911 right away. I will stay calm and will not force the child to vomit. I will take him/her to the nearest hospital for proper care if told to by the poison control center or 911 operator.
Helping Your Child Cope With Disaster
It is normal for children to be afraid, especially after a natural disaster. The fear may last for an extended period of time and is best handled with kindness and understanding on the part of the parents. Children should be encouraged to talk about their feelings and express their fears through play, drawing, or clay/play dough.
Research indicates that children's fears vary accordingly to age, maturation, and previous learning experiences. Four major fears common in children are death, darkness, animals, and abandonment.
Another important aspect of children's fears is that they may be intensified when adults refuse or are reluctant to discuss them with children. Many families ban all painful topics from family conversation. Such strategies inflict high costs in terms of intensified despair and negativity among children. To help children cope with fears, one of the most important steps adults can take is to take the time to talk with children.