Wildfires are a horrific reality of life, which makes them especially difficult to explain to children. But since they are so prevalent, parents, teachers, and firefighters must educate children about this subject. Read on to learn how you should talk to kids about wildfires.
You may speak to a child about wildfires in response to concerns they have already raised with you. If a child tells you that they are anxious because a town nearby was evacuated, explain that although wildfires are scary, people can protect themselves if they take the proper precautions. Let them know that their family, school, and firefighters are going to keep them safe.
Treat It as a Teaching Moment
Maybe the child came to you with questions, or you brought it up yourself. Whatever the impetus, treat the conversation like a learning opportunity. There is so much to say about fires. Explain to the child how wildfires start. For older children, this might even lead to an early conversation about insurance companies.
Listen to the child’s questions carefully. As a fire educator or a parent, you must normalize their curiosity. If a child asks about their pet’s safety in the event of a fire, do not immediately treat the question as something they should put out of their minds. Instead, let the child know those questions are legitimate, that they should ask as many as they like, and answer their queries as best you can.
Let Kids Help
A child is often nervous to see their community prepare against wildfires. Beyond learning how you should talk to kids about wildfires, you can also help soothe their concerns by giving them a “job.” When kids are involved, they feel more in control and comfortable. You can make this job as simple as keeping the family updated about the weather or helping pack emergency kits.