Bushfire and recovery information for parents
Large parts of NSW are being affected by bushfires and the
recovery effort may continue for some time. Children are more vulnerable to the
effects of smoke because they spend more time outdoors engaged in physical
activity, have developing airways and breathe more air relative to their body
It is important to think about ways to reduce their exposure.
Children with asthma may be more sensitive to smoke.
Steps to decrease risk from bushfire smoke
Face masks – P2/N95 rated
face masks can filter out the fine particles in smoke. However, they are not designed to fit children. For more information on P2 masks and children, read
the Frequently asked questions.
Children with asthma
If your child has diagnosed asthma:
- Provide your child’s preschool, childcare centre or school with
up to date written asthma first aid instructions, completed by your child’s GP
i.e. The NSW Health Schools and Child Services Action Plan
for Asthma Flare Up.
- Leave your child’s reliever medication and spacer with staff at
your child’s preschool, childcare centre or school and check that it is
- Have an up to date individual Asthma Action
Plan for your child. Seek review with
your child’s GP to assess their current asthma management.
The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network provides a range of
resources for parents on its Aiming for Asthma Improvement in Children
website including a Good
asthma control checklist.
Mental health support
Emergencies and disasters are extremely stressful and it is
normal for children, even infants, to be affected. They depend on the adults
around them for safety and security, and will need reassurance, care, and
opportunities to share their feelings. This includes children in areas under
immediate threat, through to children in areas in recovery after having
Emerging Minds leads the National Workforce Centre for Child
Mental Health and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program. The
Emerging Minds Community
Trauma Toolkit provides a starting point for you to help your children and
teenagers navigate the different stages of a disaster.
The Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential 24/7 phone
and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years. Call 1800
551800 or visit www.kidshelpline.com.au
Immunisations and enrolment
Information for parents regarding enrolment of the child at
preschool, in childcare, or at school can be found on the bushfire
immunisation information page.