Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Preparing children for bushfires:

It's important that children are involved in bushfire plans.
By Motherpedia
Date: January 11 2013
Editor Rating:
fire_-_escape_plan

As bushfires continue to burn around Australia, families in high-risk areas are considering their survival plans – but what role should children play in the planning process? 

How much information should parents share with their children about their plan? And what can parents do if children become anxious about bushfire hazards and disasters this bushfire season? 

Research by Dr Briony Towers, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in RMIT University’s Centre for Risk and Community Safety, shows involving children in the planning process could be vital for their survival in a disaster. 

Dr Towers interviewed 140 children aged 5-12 years living in high bushfire-risk areas in Tasmania and Victoria as part of research conducted with the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre (CRC). 

“These children generally understood a bushfire could happen in their area but they knew very little about how to protect themselves or their homes,” she said. 

“The study showed that when children were given the chance to discuss bushfire mitigation and planning with more knowledgeable peers or adults, they were more than capable of understanding the fundamental principles of safety and survival. 

“In addition, when children had a clear understanding of the steps that could be taken to prevent or reduce bushfire impacts, they were less fearful and anxious about living in a high bushfire-risk area. 

“Parents should talk to their children about fire safety and involve them in their bushfire survival plans – in a serious event, that knowledge could be crucial.” 

The study found the most common misconceptions among children included: 

Bushfires only travel along the ground and can be stopped by roads, rivers or creeks, swimming pools and brick walls 

  • If you stay to defend, you should evacuate when the fire front gets to the house 
  • If you evacuate, you should pack your valuables and then wait until the fire reaches your property 
  • If there is a bushfire coming, you should run to the letterbox 
  • It is possible to outrun a bushfire on foot 
  • The fire service or the police will you when it’s time to leave 
  • It will be hot, so you should wear bathers or shorts and a t-shirt 

Check out the tips and advice on managing heat, including preparing for bushfires, here.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
heat_wave
The latest advice from safety and emergency services experts on…
Read more
pregnant_woman_and_water
Extremely hot weather is especially challenging for pregnant women or…
Read more
toddlers_playing
Save the Children has issued tips for supporting children during…
Read more
Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Trolls-giveaway

Win 1-of-3 Trolls Prize Packs Giveaway
Let's get artsy with the Trolls!

Oral health for pregnant women - motherpedia

6 Early and Unusual Things Women Experience During Pregnancy
Are any of these familiar?

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Motherpedia cover (2)

Make a big difference…
This is Australia’s largest tree planting and nature planning event!

Motherpedia cover (1)

Escape Winter and Giddy…
Are you ready for some good music, Australia?

Motherpedia cover (1)

A Summer Night Season…
Moonlight Cinema announces February program

Motherpedia cover

More Than Fundraising
Why Events Like Relay for Life are Important