BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Although it is only natural that children should get the most protection it looks like the U.S. will not help kids in disasters because of lack of resources.
Children are in general more vulnerable and more prone to illness or injury especially when it comes to emergency situations created by natural disasters, terrorist attacks or epidemics. Besides requiring more attention when it comes to medical drug dosing or medical devices which have to be of a certain size, children are the ones on top of the list for medical care.
However, since they need special treatment, special drugs and devices, their care costs are higher than the ones of an adult, and at present the state does not have enough funds to support this treatment when faced with an extraordinary situation.
The U.S. needs to invest more in research for children-appropriate treatments, increase the stockpile of already existing remedies as well as drugs and medical instruments. The main problem is that although the nation’s stockpile of medical supplies is let’s say, in good condition, it mostly contains supplies which can be used for adults but are not appropriate for child medical care.
The changes should start now, so we are not caught unprepared in case of an emergency. The stockpile should also have pediatric alternatives to medicine such as ‘liquid pills’, vaccines and dosing instructions based both on age and on weight. With children even 1 milligram might be life-changing.
However, there are difficulties in trying to prepare for natural disasters as research must be done in order to get a better idea of what children will need in such a situation. Unfortunately, research is scarce as parents are reluctant to let their children participate in clinical trials. Therefore, lack of information represents a big obstacle in finding a way to save children from future dangers.
Another obstacle could also be represented by costs. Especially when it comes to liquid variations of a certain drug, costs rise because they may be more difficult to handle, transport and store. Plus, they also have a shorter ‘lifespan’ than regular drugs, which means re-supplies would happen often.
All in all, emergency situation such as calamities or terrorist attacks put our nation in great difficulty when it comes to child care as resources, money and information are all scarce and something must be done to change this situation as soon as possible before we’ll have to face a natural disaster.
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