How To Talk To Kids, Calm Nerves About Hurricane Irene

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Christie and other local officials are urging Tri-State residents to be prepared for the looming threat of Hurricane Irene, the intense news coverage generated by the storm may instill a bit of fear or concern in young children.

Dr. Irwin Redlener of the Public Health National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University offers advice to parents when it comes to soothing the anxiety of youngsters.

“You’re going to be hearing a lot of wind, a lot of noise…all of that’s going to have the potential to create quite a bit of anxiety in children,” Dr. Redlener said. “Holding them, making sure you’re physically close, answering questions that they have and trying to remain calm are the most important things to do.”

Explain to your kids that although this is a dangerous storm, many of the measures being taken are precautions which will keep your family safe.

“Reassure children that there is going to be a big event, but we’re going to keep ourselves…as safe as we possibly can, and that’s why Mom and Dad are doing the various things we have to do to get ready.”

Don’t try and change the subject.

“It doesn’t really do any good to try and avoid the issue,” Redlener said. “There’s probably too much going on to say ‘nothing’s happening,’ so honesty is the best policy here.”

Of course, the amount of honesty depends on the age and developmental status of your child.

“There’s a lot more you can say to a 15-year-old than you can say to a 5-year-old.”

For more tips and CBSNewYork’s Severe Weather Guide, click here.


One Comment

  1. Sarah says:

    Don’t let them watch the news for sure. They are trying to scare everyone!

  2. M.Giacomo says:

    When I was 12 years old my Father from Italy and me had to wait out
    a Hurricane storm in NYC in 1957,
    He gave me a glass of wine and filled it up again.
    We played checkers and other games,till I fell asleep from to much pasta ,a great time for bonding , was no stigma about kids drinking wine in my family and none
    of us drink alcohol much today ,perhaps because it was no big thing for us
    to have with meals back then it did not have the forbidden fruit aspect as today.
    My Mom was at that time in Lenox Hill Hospital where they moved patients
    away from glass windows into the hallway.

  3. DanTe says:

    Q. How to reassure stupid kids from stupid parents?

    A. DIE ! DIE ! DIE !

  4. JFK says:

    How to prepare families and children with these survival tips:

    For preparation in this unprecedented disaster of Rockaway see:

Comments are closed.

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