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Preparing children for climate related disasters

Seddighi, H., Yousefzadeh Faal Daghati, S., Lopez Lopez, M. & Sajjadi, H., Nov-2020, In : BMJ paediatrics open. 4, 1, 5 p., e000833.

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Climate-related disasters affect different dimensions of children’s health and well-being both directly and indirectly. Reducing children’s vulnerability and exposure to climate-related disasters is crucial to protect them against risks. Children as climate-change agents and future leaders at local, national and international level can obviously contribute to reduce vulnerabilities in families and communities and transfer knowledge to them. Moreover, children can advocate for climate change mitigation. In the long term, participation of children in the climate change mitigation programmes may lead to fewer disasters and, consequently, less risk to their health.

As government policies have failed to fully address and respond to the drivers of climate-related disasters, disasters preparedness and education for children should be considered an essential activity to protect children from disaster’s risks.
Main factors in shaping children’s behaviour and response to disaster are increasing the risk perception and knowledge of the children. When a child perceived likelihood, susceptibility and severity of a disaster (such as earthquake), then they would be able and willing to learn how to prepare for that.
So far, disaster education programmes for children have mostly relied on offline school-based training. Different innovative approaches can be applied to continue education within online and digital formats including virtual reality, digital games and online platforms. However, an advocacy support by influential entities such as companies engaged in entertainment industry is required to raise the awareness of public and particularly the children about disaster preparedness.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000833
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ paediatrics open
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2020

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