Help Kids Cope

Help Kids Cope assists caregivers with explaining natural disasters to children and adolescents. The app provides resources to explain earthquakes, extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tornado’s, tsunamis, wildfires, storms, and winter storms. The resources provide caregivers with information on how to explain the situation with age appropriate language, tips on how to prepare for emergencies, ways in which they can respond to their child, and tools to assist the child in processing the event emotionally.

Help Kids Cope Logo  Select a Disaster  Heal Sub Menu Select Age Appropriate materials

Version: 1.2 (iOS)

Compatibility:  iOS and android devices

Price: Free

Target Audience:  Caregivers of children and adolescents

Bottom Line:  Help Kids Cope allows users to obtain resources for helping children and adolescents understand and emotionally process natural disasters.

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  • Age appropriate language, and education
  • Resource lists for emergency preparation assistance
  • Self-care education
  • Situations other than natural disasters are not discussed, (gun violence, pandemic, protests, etc.)

Features and Options

Help Kids Cope is designed to aide caregivers of children and adolescents in understanding and processing the emotions associated with natural disasters.  The primary goal of the app is to provide caregivers with age specific language for different developmental stages.  The user has the ability to select an event, such as an earthquake. The user then has the option to select; Explain, Prepare, Respond, Heal, or Learn. Once the user has selected their option, they then have the option to select age-specific explanations. The caregiver can choose between; preschoolers, school-age children, or adolescents.  Once the user has made their choice, the app provides them with information on how to explain the event at a level the child will understand.

The “Explaining” option provides detailed information of what to say to children that will help them understand the natural disaster.  The app provides the user with specific prompts that they can utilize in a conversation with the child as well as suggestions of activities that the adult can use to help explain the event in a tangible way. One such example is providing adults with instructions of how to make cut-out snow flakes while explaining what snow is to a preschooler.

The app offers the users a checklist with the “Prepare” option. This includes suggestions on how to prepare for a natural disaster, safety precautions that will assist in keeping everyone safe during the event, as well as a check-list of materials and resources to have in case the event happens. 

The user also can gain insight on how to communicate with their child during the event with the “Respond” option. The app offers users age-specific language that the caregiver can utilize that will instruct their child or adolescent with the least amount of stress.

The “Heal” feature provides the user with tools on how to emotionally process the event for themselves as well as with their child.  The resources include information on typical trauma responses such as fear or anxiety as well as tools on how to process those feelings. 

The “Learn” feature provides the user with outside resources to prepare, respond, and heal from the event. The resources include links to emergency response organizations such as the Red Cross and resources from the National Child Traumatic Center that assist with finding psychotherapy treatment.

Practice Implications

Help Kids Cope is a good, first-step resource built to help caregivers or other professionals working with children and adolescents with basic how-to guidance and resources for natural disasters.  Practitioners could suggest this app to caregivers that are looking for more information on how to support their children through a natural disaster.  A practitioner could also use this app with caregivers to help them identify age appropriate language and assist with role play conversations with the caregiver to help them prepare for these conversations with their children.

The app can also be used by adults to gain information about self-care, emergency preparedness, and resources to assist in their processing of the natural event. 

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Device used for this review:  iPad


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