Today bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. Men, women, and children were indiscriminately killed in a senseless act of violence. It is hard to comprehend such acts of violence and most are especially when the victims include children. They are our innocence and in them we see the future. When we loose a child we see a promising piece of our future lost.
We know that children are approximately 25% of our population, that they cannot be treated like adults, and that special emergency supplies are needed for their care in a disaster. In 2010, the National Commission on Children and Disaster produced a report on the needs of children in a disaster. The full report can be found at http://archive.ahrq.gov/prep/nccdreport/index.html.
Recommendation 4.2: Improve the capability of emergency medical services (EMS) to transport pediatric patients and provide comprehensive pre-hospital pediatric care during daily operations and disasters.
- Congress should provide full funding to the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program to ensure all States and territories meet targets and achieve progress in the EMSC performance measures for grantees, and to support development of a research portfolio.
- As an eligibility guideline for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reimbursement, require first response and emergency medical response vehicles to acquire and maintain pediatric equipment and supplies in accordance with the national guidelines for equipment for Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support vehicles.184
- HHS and DHS should establish stronger pediatric EMS performance measures within relevant Federal emergency preparedness grant programs.
- HHS should address the findings of the EMSC 2009 Gap Analysis of EMS Related Research.185
The full list of recommendations are available at http://cybercemetery.unt.edu/archive/nccd/20110427002555/http://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohsepr/nccdreport/nccdrptapb.htm.
In the coming days we will also need to address the mental health needs of children. It will be necessary to remember that children are not little adults and they will respond differently to the trauma they see on television. You can find age specific tips for talking to children after traumatic events at http://www.samhsa.gov/mentalhealth/tips_talking_to_children_after_disaster.pdf.
Tonight let us pray for peace.
Prayer for Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born
to eternal life.