Articles about Children In Disasters
Helping Your Child Cope with a Disaster
Disasters are stressful events that can cause substantial harm to communities and families. It is important to keep children physically and mentally safe during and after a disaster.
A Child’s Health is the Public’s Health
Preparing for unexpected events is an important part of keeping children safe and healthy all year long.
Keeping Kids Safe
Protecting your child during the school day is as easy as A-B-C.
Returning to School After a Disaster: Tips to Help Your Students Cope
Teachers have an important role to play in helping children both prepare for and recover after a public health emergency.
Your Child Is At Risk for Mental Health Issues After a Disaster
Learn the signs of children’s mental stress to help them cope after a disaster.
Lost and Found: Reuniting with Loved Ones in an Emergency
More than a collection of names, phone numbers, and street addresses, an Emergency Action Plan is an instruction manual for how to stay healthy, stay informed, and stay connected in an emergency.
It’s important that everyone in your household know how to inform family, friends, and caregivers of their well-being and whereabouts when a disaster strikes. Cellphones, the internet, and social media play a key role in staying connected. In an emergency, text messaging and online platforms, like the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well website and Facebook’s Safety Check feature, can be used to let loved ones know you are safe.
But what if the people you want to reunite with don’t have cellphones, social media, or even thumbs? If you’re a parent, a family caregiver, or a pet owner, your Emergency Action Plan should also account for vulnerable populations, such as children, older adults, and pets.
(Read the full article.)
Protecting Our Future: Emergency Preparedness and Children’s Mental Health
Among the many lessons learned during the 2017 Hurricane season, we recognized that addressing children’s mental and behavioral health needs is a major concern in hurricane-affected areas.
CDC’s At Risk Task Force (ARTF) was established in 2017 to ensure identification and prioritization of the mental and physical health needs of at-risk populations, including children. ARTF’s first Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation was on Aug. 31, 2017, in response to Hurricane Harvey, the first of three consecutive hurricanes to hit the United States and its territories in a five-week period. ARTF’s mission was to address the needs of at-risk populations in affected areas throughout the response and recovery phases.
Early in the response, it became clear that the emotional impact of the storms and the mental health needs of people, particularly children, affected were a critical area of focus. ARTF worked closely with federal and non-government agencies to address these needs so that children and families had the best chance for recovery.
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How H1N1 Sparked a Lasting Partnership for Pediatric Public Health Emergencies
It was April 2009. We didn’t know what we were facing. Everyone was on high alert. It was a scary time for individuals, communities, parents, and healthcare providers.
What was causing this concern? A new strain of the flu virus, first detected in two grade-school age children living 130 miles apart in California, had now been identified in a few different locations in the United States. It was a type of “swine flu” called H1N1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quickly activated the Emergency Operations Center to tackle the spread of the virus nationwide.
Activating An Emergency Operations Children’s Health Team
Because of the disproportionate impact that such a virus could have on children, Dr. Richard Besser—a pediatrician and CDC’s Acting Director at that time—made the decision to activate a Children’s Health Team. This was the first time the Emergency Operations Center had activated a dedicated team to address pediatric issues during a health emergency. The Children’s Health Team was mobilized in May 2009 and remained active for nine months.
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Pediatrics and Public Health: Working Together to Prepare for Emergencies
Did you know that one in four people in the United States are children? Children represent a considerable portion of our population and they are among our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. When a public health emergency or disaster strikes, children are often the most severely affected.
* These CDC scientific articles are listed in order of date published, from 2014 to present.
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A Framework for Coordination between Obstetric and Pediatric Providers in Public Health Emergencies: Lessons Learned from the Zika Outbreak in the United States, 2015 to 2017
Leeb RT, Cree RA, Aird L, DeBiasi RL, Driggers RW, Garbarczyk E, Mofenson LM, Needle S, Rodriguez J, Curry C, García F, Godfred-Cato S, Hawks D, Rosenblum E, Dziuban E, Hudak M.
American Journal of Perinatology. May 21 2020
Characteristics Associated With Presence of Pediatric Mental Health Care Policies in Emergency Departments.
Cree RA, So M, Franks JL, Richards RM, Leeb R, Hashikawa A, Krug S, Ludwig L, Olson LM.
Pediatric Emergency Care. November 13, 2019.
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Building Children’s Preparedness at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention One Event at a Time, 2009-2018.
Leeb RT, Franks JL, Dziuban EJ, Ruben W, Bartenfeld M, Hinton CF, Chatham-Stephens K, Peacock G.
American Journal of Public Health. September 10, 2019.
An Evaluation of the Literacy Demands of Online Natural Disaster Preparedness Materials for Families.
So M, Franks JL, Cree RA, Leeb RT.
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. August 6, 2019.
Extending the Reach of Pediatric Emergency Preparedness: A Virtual Tabletop Exercise Targeting Children’s Needs.
So M, Dziuban EJ, Franks JL, Cobham-Owens K, Schonfeld DJ, Gardner AH, Krug SE, Peacock G, Chung S.
Public Health Reports. May 16, 2019.
School District Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plans — United States, 2006, 2012, and 2016.
Kruger J, Brener N, Leeb R, Wolkin A, Avchen RN, Dziuban E.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. August 3, 2018.
Elizabethkingia in Children: A Comprehensive Review of Reported Cases, 1944–2017
Dziuban E, Franks J, So M, Peacock G, Blaney D.
Clinical Infectious Diseases. December 2, 2017.
A Child’s Health is the Public’s Health: Progress and Gaps in Addressing Pediatric Needs in Public Health Emergencies
Dziuban EJ, Peacock G, Frogel M.
American Journal of Public Health. September 11, 2017.
Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years with Zika Virus Disease Acquired Postnatally — U.S. States, January 2015–July 2016
Goodman AB, Dziuban EJ, Powell K, Bitsko BH, Langley G, Lindsey N, Franks JL, Russell K, Dasgupta S, Barfield WD, Odom E, Kahn E, Martin S, Fischer M, Staples JE.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 7, 2016.