reply to post by Terims
My daughter has been repeatedly asking what a tsunami is and what to do during one. I was initially confused, since I've never talked to her about
them, or mentioned them much. I'm fairly sure that she's heard it from conversations with my husband when referring to the news on the internet.
Looking back on my childhood, after I went to bed I would oftentimes overhear my parents talk about things or manage to hear snippets of the news on
television. I've learned from other situations that children can have better ears than we usually think.
Come to think of it, she's also heard the term in a movie (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).
Past that I don't have any ideas about the cause. I hope your daughter feels better soon.
I grew up along a major interior fault that's still overdue for its next major quake and was taught what to do during one. But I grew up and found
that, being the clueless mother that I am, I was horribly unsure how to teach my child about it a couple months ago. So, I went to the internet.
Here's a couple links I used if other parents are interested:
Earthquake Safety for Parents
Teaching Children About Earthquakes
Earthquakes can be scary for people of any age, but especially for children. For children, the things they do not understand can be the scariest
and can make them anxious. The most important way to keep your kids safe during an earthquake is to teach them about earthquakes and prepare them
ahead of time.
I used about the same language on my child as the mother in the first link used. I wouldn't, however, suggest making a dash for your child's bedroom
like she seems to plan on unless it's a baby quake, since that puts you at risk. I believe I read somewhere that people that have to move less than 10
feet to safety have a better survival rate. It's best to find a safe spot in each room of the house and go over them with your family. Also, do not
teach them to stand in a doorway like I was taught. It is apparently outdated advice and not considered safer.
During an earthquake you should head for the doorway. FICTION: That’s outdated advice. In past earthquakes in unreinforced masonry structures
and adobe homes, the door frame may have been the only thing left standing in the aftermath of an earthquake. Hence, it was thought that safety could
be found by standing in doorways. In modern homes doorways are no stronger than any other parts of the house and usually have doors that will swing
and can injure you. YOU ARE SAFER PRACTICING THE “DROP, COVER, AND HOLD” maneuver under a sturdy piece of furniture like a strong desk or table.
If indoors, stay there. Drop to the floor, make yourself small and get under a desk or table or stand in a corner. If outdoors, get into an open area
away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines. If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and outside walls, stay out of elevators, and
get under a table. If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside your car until the shaking is
over. If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Crouch and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. You should practice the
“DROP, COVER AND HOLD” method at work and at home at least twice a year.
We live on a busy road with lots of semi-trucks. Whenever a particularly large one would make the ground shake after I talked to my daughter about
quakes, she was under the dining room table - holding on and covering her head. "Mommy, the ground's shaking! Get under!" At first I felt stupid and
wouldn't get under, but then I realised that in itself was pretty stupid. Act out the drills with your younger children. They learn through what you
do as much as what you say. Of course, we did need to explain that light truck shaking isn't what I was warning her about.
And lucky, clueless me! My child picks up where I slack off because she's so inquisitive. While taking a bath she asks me what to do if she's in the
bath and the ground's shaking. While playing with me later she asks what to do if an earthquake happens while she's going potty. We go for a walk and
she asks what to if it happens outside, so I teach her about how power lines are dangerous and to stay away from buildings. Get on open grass if you
can. Later in my room, she says there's an earthquake and jumps onto the bed with a blanket over her face.
It's almost like a game to her. Part of me wishes I could get her to understand how serious it is. She's showing absolutely no fear about it at all
(it's part of her personality, I've found, and it actually scares me).
For those with anxious children, my mother keeps trying to drill into my head that young children are very good at picking up on subtle signals of
anger, fear, etc. in those around them even if they can't fully understand it. It's really true. Make sure those around your children feel secure and
prepared and can act as a source of calm and security. If your fretting over the end of the world, or your poorly prepared local nuclear reactor, or
the poisons in your kid's food and water that you can't see, at least try to act calm (unlike me...). Your child looks to adults to learn how to act
and for guidance, so if you're calm it will rub onto them at least a little even if it can't alleviate all their anxiety.
Earthquake proof your child's room as much as you can. Don't hang framed pictures over their bed, or keep heavy objects on a headboard. Don't put
heavy boxes in the upper portion of their closet. Keep shoes or tough soled slippers for your child near their bed as they may need to walk over
broken glass. Also consider a child's bicycle helmet. It's unlikely it would be readily available in a sudden, serious quake that prevents much
movement, but you can use it while exiting the building afterwards.
Terims' advice is so important for all parents: PLEASE teach your children preparedness. Also teach them how to phone for emergency help (such as 911
in the US). Children can learn very young. After the earthquake in Japan, I felt deeply ashamed I didn't teach my daughter (also 4) earlier about
And it's also interesting trying to explain to your Japanese husband that the nifty earthquake early warning system does not exist
here in the
US. I thought that was some amazing new technology over in Japan, but no, the man had it ever since he was a child! He was baffled that we now live on
a subduction fault zone and everyone has basically no warning. And crap buildings. I guess it happens when your fault is a sneaky, quiet
edit on 25-5-2011 by DriftingAway because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2011 by DriftingAway because: (no reason