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Earthquakes and Kids: What You Need to Know

Whoa, if you felt Tuesday’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake, you and your family are probably still a little shaken up!

Even my fellow west coasters (who dare I say, are at least a little used to earthquakes) can get a wee bit nervous when the earth moves under their feet. Now imagine being a toddler – 3 feet tall, decidedly closer to the shaking earth and witness to all the frightening sights and sounds that come from an earthquake; talk about scary!

The first time my native Californian son experienced an earthquake it was a mild one, which I’m pretty sure lasted about 3.2 seconds. None of that mattered, he was terrified! Long after the shaking stopped he wanted me to promise it would never happen again – if only I could. For days he asked everyone – dad, brother, teachers, friends – when the next “earthshake” was going to happen; imagine his anxiety when no one knew the answer.

While we can’t predict or prevent earthquakes, we can certainly prepare for them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website offers valuable information on:

What to Do Before an Earthquake

What to Do During an Earthquake

What to Do After an Earthquake

If your child is having difficulty coping with earthquakes, please visit American Academy of Pediatrics: Children and Disasters for valuable information.

For those with school-age children, consider visiting FEMA for Kids: Earthquakes for interactive earthquake tools, games and information just for kids.

Stay safe, be prepared and please offer your emergency preparedness suggestions and resources in the comments!

More on Toddler Times:

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Help, My Toddler Hates Clothes!

Family Fun on the Cheap

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