I'm not sure if you heard the news, but "a 75-foot-tall, 75-year-old pine crashed without warning at around 5 p.m. just outside the Kidspace Children's Museum and fell onto kids at a summer day camp Tuesday, injuring eight children, two of them critically, fire officials said." (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/including-children-hurt-falling-tree-kids-museum-32745551)
Well, my two daughters (ages 6 and 7) were attending that camp and apparently standing less than 20 feet away from the tree when it fell. When I arrived on the scene I was immediately notified that camp was being held directly under and near the tree when it fell. The staff notified each parent whether his/her child(ren) was safe, and the police kept us all well-informed and calm as we waiting over an hour for our children to be released back to us. My girls are safe and unscathed, but my eldest was sobbing before bed as she shared with us that she saw her friend, Joy, get hit by the tree and go to the hospital. I believe Joy's still in critical condition, so our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the children who were injured.
I am so thankful to the camp counselors and Kidspace Museum staff for keeping our children safe and in good spirits. Thank you, also, Pasadena Police and Pasadena Fire Departments for your incredibly fast response. You were all absolute rockstars.
This was such a harrowing experience. At least 1 firetruck and 1 ambulance passed me on my way to pick my girls up yesterday, but I thought nothing of it, until I pulled up to the scene. I teach my children to say no to strangers, look both ways before crossing the street, but what can prepare them for freak accidents like these? Nothing, really. I guess it's all about how we choose to deal with the aftermath.
Please say a prayer for all the children and families involved, and take a moment to peruse the resources listed below. Finally, let this be another reminder to cherish each and every moment and live life to its fullest.
The school psychologist at my children's school, Dr. Tina Bryson, suggests the following resources and steps to guide parents in talking with their children about the incident.
Steps to guide parents in talking with their children:
A friend of mine brought up the idea of organizing a "Parent Camp," and it was such a great idea that I just had to share. Summer camps seem to cost a fortune, and personally, I've had to piece together several different camps so that I can be at work. Even if you're a stay-at-home parent, this could be a welcome a break/change-of-pace for your kids. Here's a great, low-cost option - Parent Camp.
This will take a bit of planning, but one parent would watch ALL the children for a day. It sounds daunting, but I find that kids sometimes do better in groups. Hours can be negotiated but our group was planning on doing 9-3. The parent in charge is in charge of keeping the kids "entertained" and safe, feeding them snacks, providing a lunch which can be pizza delivery, sandwiches, pasta (whatever the parent in charge can manage).
(it's likely that the kids will want to just play with one another, but if you want to plan some things, here are some ideas)