Coping in the Aftermath of Hurricane Irma
While Hurricane Irma has left our state, the storm left many families feeling anxious, worried, dealing with loss, and more. Young children have an even harder time during disasters like Hurricane Irma, as they may not be able to comprehend what is happening and do not yet have the ability to cope with the strong emotions they are feeling.
Although all children react differently to disasters, preschool-aged children often respond by becoming more timid and unwilling to be alone, experience uncontrollable crying, refuse to eat and show regressive behaviors.
The most important thing you can do for your child is appear calm and provide your support. Talk to them in an age-appropriate way about the hurricane while reassuring them that they are safe. Ask them how they are feeling and encourage them to be open about any fears they may have. You can help them regain a feeling of control by allowing them to make their own choices, like what outfit they want to wear, what they want to eat for dinner, and so on. Since young children are used to routines, try to keep as much of your child's regular routines before the disaster intact, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtimes.
You can find more in-depth information and resources for helping your child cope in the Family Resources list on the right. You'll also find our Pinterest board below with more resources for families recovering from Hurricane Irma.