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Three first responders wearing yellow HAZMAT suits and oxygen tanks bending down during drill

Pediatric Emergency Preparedness

The Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center (PDRTC) at Children's Hospital Los Angeles was first established with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Hospital Preparedness Program. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles serves as the sole pediatric disaster resource and training center in Los Angeles County and helps to support pediatric preparedness for over 180 other health care facilities, through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency.

The goal of the PDRTC is to identify gaps in pediatric disaster preparedness, response and training so that health care providers are prepared to handle the needs of children during a major disaster.

Our Goals

  • Expand the hospital’s pediatric resources and expertise to a network of geographically dispersed health care facilities
  • Develop and deploy state-of-the-science pediatric disaster training to local providers, including preparedness through resiliency, and supporting response.

Why Focus on Children and Disasters?

In the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack—any event with mass casualties—children cannot just be treated like tiny adults. Children are more physically and psychologically vulnerable than adults.

Critically injured children may require different treatments, different equipment or different drugs, and their bodies will respond differently than those of adults. There also are numerous logistical challenges when children become separated from their caregivers, as we witnessed during Hurricane Katrina.