Nobody wants to think about what would happen in the event of a serious emergency at school. However, with an earthquake happening off the BC coast earlier this week, there’s no denying that it is a definite possibility that the big one could hit while our kids are at school. Many schools request a comfort kit at the beginning of the school year, which they can use in the event of just such an emergency to help your child to stay calm. Usually the whole kit is put inside a single plastic zippered bag, which is no small task. How can you fit it all in? If you’re pulling together your own comfort kit in the back-to-school rush, we have five suggestions about what you should include.
Five Things to Include a Back-to-School Comfort Kit
1. A Family Photo
A photo of your family enjoying a fun time together will help your child to stay calm in a difficult situation. For younger children who can’t read yet, images are also the best way to convey a message. If you’re having a hard time choosing a photo, get your little one involved. Find out which image your child likes the most. After all, you’re choosing it for your child, not yourself.
2. Emergency Information
Most schools will provide a small information card for you to fill out, with emergency contact information for your child’s parents, alternate contacts, out-of-province contacts, and so on. Make sure that you’ve filled it out completely, and that the contacts know that they’ve been listed. If possible, choose at least one contact who lives or works within walking distance of the school, in the event that the roads are difficult to navigate and you’re delayed. You’ll also want to include your child’s Care Card number and medical contacts like your doctor’s phone number. Or consider joining a network like ePACT, so that you can easily communicate during an emergency and complete all these emergency details online.
3. A Comfort Object
Including a small stuffed toy is a great idea when you’re assembling your child’s back-to-school comfort kit. We all know how children can cling to their lovies, and how holding a small teddy bear can capture even a very young child’s interest, helping them to stay calm.
Food is comforting, so it’s a natural choice for a back-to-school comfort kit. In the event that you’re not able to reach your child right away, some granola bars or other high-energy snacks will help keep your little one from going hungry. Be sure that you follow your school’s guidelines around peanuts / nuts and other food restrictions. It would be terrible if one of your child’s classmates experienced an allergic reaction in an emergency because of something in your kiddo’s snack.
5. First Aid Supplies
A small packet of tissues, a few bandaids with cartoon characters on them, a solar blanket and the like can also help your child to remain calm and comfortable in an emergency. If your child has any necessary medication, you’ll also want to talk to the school about how that will be stored and administered in an emergency.
One last suggestion is that you consider making two comfort kits – one to keep at school, and one to keep in your child’s backpack. This way, if an emergency hits while your child is at daycare, a play date, or an after-school activity, your little one will have everything they need to remain calm and comfortable until you can get there.
Have you put together a back-to-school comfort kit for your child? What did you include?
This article was sponsored by ePACT, the emergency network: supporting families and organizations day to day and in any crisis. ePACT is your single emergency network and support network all in one. With ePACT, you’ll never have to fill out a paper emergency form again. Simply create an account, enter your family’s emergency information once, then securely store it online. You can connect to friends and relatives who act as your emergency contacts, and share your information with the organizations who support you, like your school, daycare, sports team and more. ePACT ensures that you and those who support you are always connected. Join today at epactnetwork.com.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.