Teaching Survival Skills Early
30 April 2004
Small kids are pretty much defenseless. They don’t have the strength or comprehension to fight off an enemy. They don’t know what to do in the event of an NBC incident, they don’t know what to do in most cases. They’re in a learning stage and haven’t yet acquired the knowledge of survival. It’s up to us parents to take care of them and teach them.
It’s a given, small kids scare easily. Kids are scared of firefighters because of the masks and Darth Vader sounds so they’ll hide under beds or in closets. Solution- Firefighters visit schools and demonstrate the equipment. We let kids see us with full turnout gear and SCBA. We let kids hear the Darth Vader sounds, we let them breathe through SCBA and make the Vader sounds. This way if they’re ever trapped in a structure fire, they’re less likely to hide from a firefighter.
Same goes for a gasmask. What little kid will want a mask on their face? Not many, it’s scary having something stuck to your face. So a chemical attack happens in your area and you try to get your 2 year old into a gas mask. They fight and resist, NOT KNOWING that by not wearing the mask, they will probably die. They don’t understand that, all they understand is "it’s scary."
Here’s what we did with our daughter. She’s 2 years and change and about as fearless as they come. She goes completely underwater at the pool or in the bathtub and it doesn’t bother her a bit. She’ll climb 10’ in the air up a ladder (DOH!) and not think twice…. fearless. Note to self: Don’t leave ladders standing up.
We have a gas mask for her and it only makes sense getting her used to wearing it. So we’ll put it on and let her play with it.
2 year old in a gas mask…imagine
We thought that she’d pry it off and want nothing to do with it. We were wrong. Put it on her and she thought it was great. She took it off and played with it and then put it on her face a few times. She’s a "monkey see, monkey do" kid. If mommy and daddy have masks she needs one too. You can always turn it into a game. Let’s all dress up and be bugs. Make it fun.
Get your kid(s) used to using equipment now before it’s too late.
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