Even Bob Hope had an emergency plan: “I keep an earthquake emergency kit in my house,” he once said. “It’s filled with food, water and a half a dozen writers.”
But according to a new poll, a lot of parents (35 percent) have no idea what their child’s day care or preschool emergency plan entails -- or if they even have one. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health also reveals that only 65 percent of parents say their child’s center has a plan for “rapid communication (text, email or cellphone) of an emergency evacuation plan to parents.”
This doesn’t mean that preschools and child-care centers are unprepared. As one of the poll’s researchers put it, “Many centers may be well-prepared to handle these types of events, but emergency plans are much less likely to work if parents don’t know about them.” Clearly, parents need to get proactive about what to do just in case, and youngsters’ facilities must make a solid plan and share it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has outlined emergency-preparedness standards for child-care centers and preschools. You can find the information at www.aap.org; search for “child care providers, disaster preparedness standards.” It covers the need for disaster planning, food and water, first aid and other emergency supplies, training, communication with parents and evacuation drills. So no excuses, Mom and Dad. Make sure your child’s care facility or school has a complete emergency plan, and make sure you know what it is, too.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.