Nation’s Disaster Response Inadequate on Children

A report issued by the National Commission on Children and Disasters found that ambulances and emergency rooms are not prepared to care for an influx of severely injured children, potentially putting hundreds of thousands of minors at risk.

The commission, established three years ago by President Bush, called on the White House to develop a national strategy on children and disasters. "If you think of a disaster, there may be hundreds of thousands of kids who need medical care, and you'll be putting them in an environment where they don't have the experience or equipment to care for kids," commission member Michael Anderson, of Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, says in a USA Today article.

The commission’s report also recommends: Bolstering the pediatric capabilities of the National Disaster Medical System; funding improved disaster planning for schools, child care, juvenile justice and child welfare agencies; and creating a national evacuee tracking system to reunite children with families.

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