No, not literally as you are running out the door. What I mean is, don’t forget the unique prep items your kids might need. From newborns (or not yet borns) to teenagers (shivers), each age group has their own prep needs. Now, I know you have kids because you are on the suburban preppers blog! Why else would you be living in the burbs if you didn’t have kids? You wouldn’t! If I were kid-less or wife-less I would be chilling in my downtown bachelor pad recovering from a weekend of debauchery and fast-living… (SP wanders off to dream land only to be awakened by the cries of babies) … Here are some things to think about in preparation for a SHTF scenario with kids:
Infants: Infants are relatively easy since they breastfeed anywhere from 8 to 16 months. For infants’ food concerns your focus should be on the mother. Woman who are breastfeeding need to consume almost double their normal caloric intake. They also need to stay sufficiently hydrated. Plan on your infants’ mother (or yourself if you are the mommy) consuming double rations of food each day and drinking twice the amount of water normally recommended.
As far as medication goes you can really only stockpile over-the-counter medicines. Most pediatricians will notprescribe medications for infants without seeing them first. It is unlikely that you will be able to see a pediatrician during a true SHTF scenario so the best thing you can do is stock up on comfort type medications like fever reducers and re-hydrating liquids (Pedialyte). ALWAYS Consult your doctor before giving any medication to your infants. Another idea is to make friends with your pediatrician and hope that he makes a house call for you if there is a real emergency. However, even if she/he can diagnose the problem there is a good chance that a pharmacy will be unable to fill an order for you. For ages 0 – 24 months the usual culprit is an ear infection. If you have kids you know that they can brutal on those little ears. Take comfort in knowing that you will probably be isolated during a catastrophe and therefore the spread of cold and flu bugs will be greatly reduced thus reducing the chance your infants/toddlers will catch anything that leads to an ear infection.
Diapers, Diapers and More Diapers! Stock up on diapers, there is no other way to put this! Infants 0 -12 months will go through 6 – 12 diapers a day. Plan to have at least a months worth of each size for each kid. (I pray for you if you have more than one kid in diapers!!!) If you are preparing for a long-term scenario perhaps cloth diapers and clothes pins are the way to go. I picked some up just in case I ran out of the disposable kind. I will not even get into how to dispose of all of the dirty diapers. All I can say is that if you are trying to lay low, you might want to get some sort of water balloon sling-shot to jettison your “waste” somewhere else as a large pile of diapers WILL attract attention.
You may want to consider stockpiling infant formula in case, God forbid, something happens to their mother. Formula has a pretty long shelf life and therefore stores pretty well.
Toddlers to Adolescents: Obviously things get easier as the kids get older. After about 18 months kids get pretty darn tough. Toddlers (1 - 3) will still need diapers so plan to stock up on the larger sizes. They will go through fewer diapers per day however, usually 4 – 8. In a SHTF scenario you may wish to move potty-training up a notch in priority levels. You can feed toddlers almost anything adults would eat but be sure to mash it up or remove any choking hazards. There are certain foods kids cannot eat until they reach 1 and 2 so ask your doctor what to avoid. Soups are a great food store for little ones. They are usually pretty tasty, they have long shelf lives, they have small chunks of food, and they are pretty inexpensive. Make sure you have plenty of dehydrated milk stored. This age group will be used to drinking a lot of milk and by stocking up you reduce the impact a catastrophe has on your little ones. Also consider freeze-dried fruits (strawberries, bananas and oranges), cereals, vegetables (corn or green beans) and hot cocoa (yummy!) for your growing little ones.
Stock up on fever-reducers (Advil, Motrin) but you can stock the “childrens” strength rather than the “infant” version. You should still stock re-hydration liquids for the toddlers (Pedialyte) and add in diarrhea medicine since they are now a little older. Pick up some multi-vitamins. These growing bodies are going to be a little malnourished and a decent supply of multi-vitamins will help offset the effect of a diet compromised by a SHTF event. Nitro-Pak has some here with a long shelf-life.
Another key item for these age groups is entertainment. Do not overlook items to keep these kids busy or quiet. There may come a time when you need them to be totally quiet and rather than smothering them, try keeping their favorite food treats around. Hot cocoa, m&ms, skittles, whatever. Use these items to stuff their little mouths when sound discipline is crucial. They can also be a great morale booster when times are tough.
Teenagers: Luckily you can use them as bait … NO, I am kidding (or am I fellow parents of teens?) Teens will grow up fast and step up in a SHTF event. Consider having a spare rifle or pistol for them in a manageable caliber such as a .22 or 9mm. Food and medical needs are virtually the same as adults. You can consider them another adult when calculating food and medical needs although a growing teenage boy will usually consume more than full grown adult cow!
DISCLAIMER:I am not a doctor. Any advice that may resemble medical advice should be taken as mere suggestion and used as a starting point for you to make your own decisions about your child’s health. Do your own research, talk to your doctor or make your own independent decision as to how to care for your children. DO NOT GO SOLELY ON THE ADVICE OF AN INTERNET BLOGGER!
Prepping for kids is tough. Do your best and think ahead. If your children have special needs or special medication TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. He/She will probably have some good ideas for care if professional care is not available. Broach the subject by talking about Katrina and ask them how you should care for little Johnny if something like that happens where you live.
The best thing you can do for your little ones is stay calm! Be their ROCK! Parents are PERFECT in the eyes’ of children so stay strong, keep loving them and everything should be fine.
-Proud Pappa SP