How to Talk to your Kids about School Lockdowns and Emergency Drills

There are a lot of scary things out there in the world.  As parents, we do our best to prepare our children for any emergency scenario they could possibly face.  And luckily, our public schools do the exact same thing by practicing lockdown and emergency drills throughout the year.

If you have a child going in to Kindergarten or  in First or Second Grade, these emergency drills can be quite scary and even traumatizing.  So, to help your child have the best experience possible when it comes to practicing school lockdowns or emergency drills, there are few things you can do at home to help them.

How to Talk to you Kids about School Lockdowns and Emergency Drills

1) Talk to your child about what a drill is and why their school has drills.

Sometimes your child’s teacher or school will let you know ahead of time that there will be a drill.  But if not, you can call them and ask.  Once you have the dates of upcoming drills, sit down with your child before a drill day and talk to them about what a lockdown and emergency drill is and why their school has them.

2) Discuss the different types of drills.

Depending on where you live, your child’s school will have drills for earthquakes, tornadoes, and/or hurricanes.   Along with fire and lockdown drills.  Different things happen for each drill.  So, it is important to go over with your child what they can expect to happen for each drill.  Such as…

  • A loud siren going off.
  • Having to go under their desks.
  • Listening and doing everything their teacher says.
  • Needing to be quiet and hold still.
  • Good guys (i.e. firemen, police officers, etc.) will be there to help.
  • They will go outside as a class and wait until it’s ‘safe’ to go back into the building.
  • They will practice these drills a couple of times throughout the school year and each time they practice, they will get better at doing and remember everything.

3) Practice the drill and lockdown routines as a family.

Taking the time to actually practice at home what your child will experience at school can be extremely helpful.  Giving your child confidence in themselves to be able to handle and do each drill because they have already practiced it.

Remember…attitude is contagious.  If you have a positive, confident, and happy attitude about the lockdowns and emergency drills your child’s public school does, so will your child.