Populations at risk--paediatrics
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Disasters affect all segments of the population. Many subsets of the general adult population have specific needs and vulnerabilities. One group with specific needs and which is always at high risk in disasters is children. The physiological, anatomical, developmental and psychological requirements in children differ from those of adults. Disaster planning must recognise and adapt to this. For the past 3 years, the Centre of Excellence in Emergency Preparedness (CEEP) has been developing a document that will outline specific paediatric issues in disasters and provide general (and, where possible, specific) guidelines for Canadian health-care providers and disaster planners. This paper discusses special issues of emergency preparedness for children and reviews the content of the document being developed at CEEP.
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