Natural disasters

More Australian children than ever before are living through natural disasters, as extreme weather events such as floods, bushfires and droughts occur more often and with increasing intensity.

A growing amount of research shows that exposure to these disasters can have a profound impact on children in terms of their physical and mental health and learning development.1

But here’s some good news: children are incredibly resilient. Although up to 95% of children are likely to show some signs of post-traumatic stress in the 12-14 months after a disaster,2 in most cases this will lessen over time with the love and support of family and friends.

The other good news is that caring parents and a stable routine are the two biggest factors in aiding recovery. By searching out expert advice, you’re already on the way to helping your children to cope.

The resources in this section have been developed to help parents and carers to support children in preparing for, experiencing and recovering from floods, bushfires and drought.

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1. Kousky, C. (2016). Impacts of natural disasters on children. The Future Of Children, 26(1), 73-92.

2. McDermott, B. M., & Cobham, V. E. (2014). A stepped-care model of post-disaster child and adolescent mental health service provision. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 5(1), 24294-24210.

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