People say if you don’t like Indiana’s weather, wait five minutes and it will change.
We know that’s not entirely true. Our weather doesn’t usually change that quickly. But there’s still a nugget of truth in the statement.
It is important to help our children understand changing weather and how to stay safe with unpredictable weather. “Children take comfort in knowing what to do in case of an emergency,” says Susan Michal, director of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ preschool.
As the temperatures start to warm, prepare your children for what can happen:
Stay off the ice.
Ponds and lakes might have a thin layer of ice on the surface during the spring, making it look safe. It isn’t. A thin layer of ice will not hold your little one’s weight no matter how small they are. Encourage your child to stay off lake or pond surfaces, and if they see a friend or animal fall in, they should get help immediately and not try to save them.
Go inside if you hear thunder.
Remind your child that if you can hear thunder, lightning is within striking distance. When you hear the first clap of thunder, get out of the pool immediately and wait at least 30 minutes before going back outside.
Tornado? Seek shelter!
The safest place during a tornado is a storm cellar or basement. If you don’t have one of those, seek shelter in a windowless room, like a bathroom or closet, on the lowest floor of your house.
The Wild Weather exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis opens March 14. It provides a great opportunity to discuss severe weather with your children and give them visual examples. You can discover the awe-inspiring power of some of nature’s most severe phenomena.
In the exhibit, families can ‘fly’ on a hurricane research plane, discover the paths of major tornadoes, map lightning strikes, and explore extreme winter conditions. A family can also discuss tips on how to weather the next storm and develop safety plans in their homes.
Make sure you talk to them about what to do in different locations (school, store, grandparent or neighbor’s home). Practice emergency drills and use the buddy system. Understanding what to do will give your child confidence during a scary time. Wild Weather is developed and produced by Science North in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre. Wild Weather is presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.