Considering the number of disasters we’ve been through, especially in the past few years, it would stand to reason that we were prepared for almost any eventuality. However, despite the government even having a plan in case of a zombie apocalypse, it was revealed that we have severely inadequate emergency supplies for children.
- In a previous study, over 90% of parents fail to correctly install a child safety seat
- Children constitute near to a quarter of the United States population
- Most medical supplies and equipment are only approved for adult use
- The main reason behind the inadequacy is a higher financial cost
- There is no emergency plan thought out by the government to distribute medical supplies to children
The study, led by Dr. David Schonfeld, from the School of Social Work and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, focused on the severe shortcomings of the medical system in regards to children in the event of a possible emergency.
With children being particularly sensitive to injury and illnesses in case of a city-wide or nation-wide emergency, something more should be done about the handling and distribution of medical supplies.
But the handling and distribution isn’t the only part where children care is lacking, as most medical supplies, equipment, and even medicine are only approved for adults.
Following the results of the study, the researchers stated that the reason behind this is because it costs a lot more to adapt or implement procedures and supplies for children use.
Many of the vaccines that would be utterly vital in the case of an emergency, like that for smallpox, or that for anthrax, have only been tested and implemented on adults, as children are more difficult to handle due to a wide array of reasons.
Adapting many supplies and procedures to pediatric use also constitutes a certain level of concern regarding the children’s safety, as well as their inability to give their consent for testing.
The author of study agrees that it isn’t entirely a matter of cost, as there are other issues as to why it’s difficult to prepare for disasters while taking children into account.
However, he compares the lack of preparedness with a sinking boat carrying only adult-sized life jackets, as they would save more lives on the dollar.
Indeed, regardless of the cost and the difficulties faced, the authorities should take children lives into consideration when preparing for an emergency situation; even if there isn’t a conscious decision to ignore children, now that the fact was revealed, measures must be taken.
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