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How to help anxious 8yo after she witnessed a fire?

(7 Posts)
ShelaghTurner Thu 21-Jan-16 19:20:55

I have a super anxious just turned 8yo dd. She's very nervy and a worrier but mostly we manage it. However, yesterday evening there was a fire next door to our house. I was alone with the two dds, got them out and we spent the time in the street watching proceedings before fire brigade let us back in. Very scary but no one hurt.

Now I expected her to worry about this, but she's even worse than I expected. I had to almost carry her into the house, she spends all her time jumping up and looking out of the window (I had asked her yesterday to look out of the window when I noticed orange flickering). A car indicating or a Tesco van with its blinkers on is freaking her out and she jumps 6 feet in the air at any noise. She's sitting next to me now shaking like a leaf and half in tears. She was awake till 4am last night.

I've reassured her till I'm blue in the face, lots of cuddles, some treats etc but nothing has made any difference and I don't know what else to do.

Sorry for waffling on, it's probably helped me writing it out tbh.

wanderings Thu 21-Jan-16 19:33:23

If you haven't already, explain about smoke alarms, fire escape plans: demonstrate them, explain about why her school has fire drills. Reassure her that she will hear the alarm. If nobody smokes in your house, you can tell her that many fires are caused by cigarettes. (Up to you if you mention that some are caused by candles left unattended.)

I remember being very anxious about burglars at that age: I kept telling my parents to get an alarm (they only did when a very bad burglary did happen, I remember feeling a touch smug in spite of the horror).

Rosenwyn1985 Thu 21-Jan-16 22:07:15

There were a few fires in my street when I was a child (one of the neighbours got in with a rough crowd). It scared me a lot. I was sent on, by sheer happenstance, a fire safety course through school at about ten. Once I felt I had the tools to cope it didn't scare me anymore. Maybe see if there is one near you? This was pretty thorough, we even got put in a building with fake smoke and shown how to safely jump from an upstairs window.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Thu 21-Jan-16 22:20:37

I had a similar thing at her age. A fire next door but one really made me nervous. I couldn't be in the same room as someone ironing and spent a lot of nights tiptoeing into my mums room with a sleeping bag. For years after I had to know my escape routes in advance. I did eventually grow out of it.

ShelaghTurner Fri 22-Jan-16 00:27:22

Thanks all. Yes I've done the talk about fire hazards and escape routes, shown her the alarms which she knows about anyway. She's a brownie and a friend suggested talking to Brown Owl about the fire safety badge.

Rosenwyn1985 Fri 22-Jan-16 10:19:24

That's a good idea. Just give her a bit of confidence maybe.

honeysucklejasmine Fri 22-Jan-16 10:22:58

Most fire stations will come out to you or allow groups to visit to learn about fire safety. I take my Brownies every few years and they have a great time, and learn loads.

Definitely see if brown owl can organise it.

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