When disaster strikes: responding to the needs of children

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2004 Jan-Mar;19(1):21-8. doi: 10.1017/s1049023x00001448.


When a disaster strikes, parents are quick to seek out the medical advice and reassurance of their primary care physician, pediatrician, or in the case of an emergency, an emergency department physician. As physicians often are the first line of responders following a disaster, it is important that they have a thorough understanding of children's responses to trauma and disaster and of recommended practices for screening and intervention. In collaboration with mental health professionals, the needs of children and families can be addressed. Policy-makers and systems of care hold great responsibility for resource allocation, and also are well-placed to understand the impact of trauma and disaster on children and children's unique needs in such situations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Disaster Planning
  • Disasters*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Stress Disorders, Traumatic / therapy*
  • Terrorism*
  • United States