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Baby & Toddler needs in a disaster

Offline Jerry D Young

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Baby & Toddler needs in a disaster
« on: November 05, 2015, 11:15:45 AM »
Per my comments during the November 4, 2015 NNPG Amateur Radio Net meeting, here are my thoughts on baby and toddler needs during disasters and into a PAW situation.

Though the actual needs will not be all that much different, particularly for babies, the need to have everything, and I mean everything, that could be needed, will have to be on hand. The ability to run to the store to get something will be minimal at best, impossible at worst. And during the worst of any event, the chance to barter and trade with other families with supplies will also be limited to non-existent.

Parents, and most people, I think, that have had any experience with little ones has a decent idea of the basic needs, so I do not intend to list those. What I will list are my thoughts on what I think might be critical items, and items that are not commonly considered basic needs. The list includes Pregnancy and newborn items as well.

The first part of the total list is a list of medical items that might be needed extracted from my Home Only-Aid Kit list:

Part #  6:  Pregnancy, birthing & infant care kit

Pre-Pregnancy/Pregnancy use items
 pregnancy home testing kits
 pregnancy vitamins & nutrition supplements
 morning sickness bags (barf bags)
 natural childbirth manuals
  Emergency Childbirth by Gregory J. White MD
  Special Delivery by Rahima Baldwin
  Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
  Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
  Birth Emergency Skills Training: A Manuel for Out of Hospital Midwifes by Bonnie Grueberg
  Childbirth at Home by Marion Sousa
  Heart & Hands by Elizabeth Davis
  A Book for Midwives (Hesperian Foundation)
  Wise Woman Herbal Childbearing by Susan S Weed

Birthing/delivery aids (reusable items)

 comfort support pillows
 small sponge
 folding basin
 fetal stethoscope
 stop watch

Birthing kit (single use - have several)
 Large square of plastic or a large plastic bag
 Cleansing towellettes
 1 pencil/pen
 4 adhesive tape ID strips
 1 patient delivery gown
 2 attendant delivery gowns
 5 surgical masks
 5 pairs of surgical gloves
 1 36" x 36" receiving blanket
 2 diapers
 1 sanitary napkin support belt
 4 wrapped sanitary napkins
 1 sterilized scissors/scalpel/razor blade
 4 sterilized umbilical tie tapes
 4 sterilized cotton balls
 1 sterilized eye, nose & throat clearing syringe
 1 bottle sterile eye wash
 4 sterilized diaper safety pins
 1 3" gauze roll bandage
 6 4" gauze compresses
 (The sterilized items to be carried in a sterilized package)
 (Complete package carried in the square of plastic or plastic bag)

Useful herbals for before, during, & after childbirth
Shepherds Purse (for hemorrhage)
Black and Blue Cohosh

Infant care items

Baby bag
Diaper safety pins
Rubber pants
Bottles & nipples
Formula, formula mix & distilled water or milk & additives
Infant vitamins & supplements
Baby wipes
Baby powder
Baby oil
Diaper rash ointment
Thermometer (forehead or anal)
Safety seat/carrier

Part #  7:  Pediatric specific kit

Insulated storage container
ailment explanation/indication dolls & diagrams
distracting/occupying toys & games
good behavior rewards
children's fever thermometers
non-sting first-aid ointment
Band-Aids (children's decorated versions)
smaller tongue depressors
smaller finger splints
dosage measuring dispensers
decorative/festive paper cups
plastic spoons
smaller ear & nose syringes
extra syrup of ipecac (check with your doctor. This has fallen out of favor.)
toothache ointment
children's eye wash bottle w/extra bottles of wash
children's eye drops
children's ear wash
children's ear drops
children's nasal spray
children's lip balm
children's pain killer
children's laxative
children's diarrhea medication
children's antacid
children's cough medicine
children's cold remedy
safety seat/carrier
(Plus any additional children's specific disease/ailment requirements
   needed on a regular or semi regular basis by any member of the family)

While I believe that reusable cotton diapers are the best option for long term prepping, having several packages of disposables of various sizes would be a good idea. During the crisis, there probably will not be time to deal with reusable diapers. The disposables will be much more convenient to use. Just be sure to have some extra garbage bags to accumulate the used diapers, and a bucket with a Gamma Seal screw on lid, or a step top garbage can to store the garbage bag to keep smells down.

With that said, keep plenty of extra diaper pins so any available absorbent fabric can be fashioned into a diaper. And since you might have to use alternatives, and it could be impossible to change diapers immediately, keep extra leak proof diaper cover pants with the emergency baby supplies. And since this could be a problem, extra cleaning and rash treatment supplies could be necessary.

Since you might have to use reusable diapers whether you want to or not, keep clothes pins with the supplies so they can be washed and hung up to dry, preferably in the sun to sanitize them.

While any prepper with a baby will have quite a bit of baby food stocked up, be sure there is an abundance of the baby's favorite foods. Just like adults, they need their comfort foods and other comfort items when stressed. So, in addition to their comfort foods, make sure there are several comfort items that they are already familiar with stored away. Add a couple of new items you are fairly sure they will like, so they can have a happy surprise from time to time during the event.

If the baby is not yet weaned to solid food, a means to bottle feed the child will be necessary, even if normally breast fed. As with the reusable diapers, reusable glass bottles with quality nipples are the way to go for long term prepping. But also like having the disposable diapers, having a supply of disposable formula feeding supplies will be important. There are several systems. Store the one you have tested with the baby, and the baby is happy with.

Remember that some situations might call for evacuation. And you might not be able to use your vehicle. Babies, for sure, and even toddlers are not going to be able to walk any distance at all. And even older children have a limited time they can walk. So it is important to have some means to carry the children so they do not have to walk. A child pack for babies will work, but you might need to have more mobility than that provides. So I would suggest having a heavy duty jogging stroller set up to carry not only the little one(s), but plenty of supplies for him/her/them, as well.

This evacuation might end up at an organized shelter of some type. So not only should you have a shelter stay bag for yourself, you will need one for the baby/toddler/children. It is basically a small selection of the same items listed above, packed up and ready to go.

In these public situations, it is highly likely you will be asked to share your supplies for use by those that did not have the foresight to prepare themselves. To avoid the problems of saying no, I would suggest having a humanitarian aid bag of supplies for those situation so you do not have to dip into your own.

Now, those are my thoughts on the subject. Not having children of my own, and with my nieces and nephew all grown up, I have lost touch with what is now available in the way of specific baby supplies. So, anyone with recent experience or knowledge I could use some advice on what to stock up on for my humanitarian supplies. I have depleted what I have, and need to get more back in stock. There are several little ones in the apartment building and I want to be in a position to help if need be.

So, what are some recommendations for disposable diapers, disposable feeding systems, LTS formula, etc.? Thanks in advance for your help.

Just my opinion.

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Jerry D Young

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and always remember TANSTAAFL

(TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - Robert A. Heinlein)