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Educating Children about Flood Dangers
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Flooding is one of the most dangerous, destructive, and deadly natural disasters that can occur. They can happen anywhere, and at any time, for a variety of reasons. Flood-related deaths are common, usually due to lack of proper preparation and nonexistent safety protocols. As difficult as it may be for adults to remain safe during a flood event, it is even more so for children.
Children need to be properly taught about the dangers of flooding, what to do, what not to do, and how to best keep themselves safe and alive. It should be explained to them in language that they understand, in a manner designed to educate and not simply frighten. In addition, adults should be proper role models when it comes to heeding the advice and warnings as issued by the National Weather Service and taking all appropriate safety measures.
Children should be taught to avoid water when unsupervised. After a storm occurs, puddles are natural temptations, but creeks, ditches, basically any area overflowing with water can be dangerous. Water does not always indicate its depth, and what looks like a shallow puddle may be a hole, several feet deep.
Children should know that they are to never try to walk or run across any kind of flowing water. It only takes six inches to knock a grown man off his feet and children are even less stable. Running water also carries debris such as rocks and branches, which may cause serious injury if it strikes them.
Children should know how to operate a portable radio or television, and where to tune it for weather forecasts and conditions. Flash floods occur rapidly, and most deaths related to them occur because people do not evacuate rapidly enough. Have a family emergency plan in place and make sure your child knows the drill. Keep them involved in the process. They should also know how to dial 911 and explain any emergency that may happen.
Teach your child the slogan "Turn Around, Donít Drown", designed to warn people away from flood conditions. They need to learn that avoiding flood water is the best way to avoid injury or death. In emergency cases, they should always remain with their parents or the closest responsible adult. Following orders and instructions is paramount, since this is for their safety and well being.
Never assume that your child will do the correct thing in emergency situations. They lack the judgment and discernment skills necessary to cope with such eventualities. The best you can do for them is make sure that they are properly educated on all facets of severe weather and flooding scenarios.
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