School shootings have received more attention in recent years. Public consciousness of these tragic events has heightened with increased media coverage and the prevalence of social media. Even though most schools never experience one, it is important for school officials and children to be aware of how to handle an active shooter.
Make Your Children Aware
First, you want to make your children aware of what an active shooter is if they don’t already know. Teach them how to identify one and what to do should they see one at school. This is a harsh reality, but it is better to be prepared than surprised.
Teach Situational Awareness
School shootings develop quickly. Your child may only have a few seconds to evaluate their situation and make a safe choice. For younger children, you can help him or her develop the situational awareness to do this by making a game out of it. Make it seem more like a fire drill so they won’t be scared. For instance, you can have them identify all the exits, doors, windows, etc. the next time you go to a store. Teach your child to develop mental maps everywhere they go so they know what to do whenever they are in a school shooting, natural disaster, fire, or any other scenario where they have to make a quick exit.
Teach Your Kids When They Should Run
Every active shooter incident is different and requires tactics specific to that particular type of incident. Sometimes your child’s best bet is to run somewhere safe. However, he or she needs to know when to run and to never call attention to themselves. Running away takes children out of the dangerous situation faster than anything else, but only if the shooter doesn’t see them.
Teach Your Kids When to Stay and Hide
There will also be times when your child cannot run to safety. When this happens, he or she must know where and how to hide. School shooters often choose their targets at random. So, your child needs to make it look and sound like he or she isn’t there.
Teach Your Kids When and How to Fight Back
You kids should always try to run and hide first, but you also want your child to know self-defense. While not ideal, there will be times when your kids have to fight back to survive. During these times, your child needs to know to stay calm, assess their options, and strike as quickly as possible to avoid any serious injuries.
Learn More about how to Prepare your Kids for School Shootings
An active shooter incident can strike without warning. These shooters pose a serious threat on a school campus with hundreds of children present. By teaching your child what to do during a school shooting, you will give him or her the best chance for survival. Contact Us for more information on how to prepare your children if an active shooter threatens their school.