Pediatrics in Disasters Course

Course overview

From the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and China, to floods in Pakistan and the deadly Asian tsunami, natural disasters have increasingly caused unimaginable levels of destruction and death. And complex humanitarian emergencies resulting from an international or civil war continue to increase in frequency. Children are disproportionately the victims of both man-made and natural disasters. Because of the vulnerability of children and adolescents, physicians and public health professionals must ensure that local, regional, and national disaster preparedness planning meets the specific needs of children and adolescents.

In order to do this effectively, physicians and public health professionals must be trained and motivated to take on this task. This online training provides the core principles of disaster planning and response. The curriculum for the Pediatrics in Disasters course was revised in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pan American Health Organization with the participation of health professionals working at Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.


1. Disasters and their effects upon the population: Key concepts
2. Preventive medicine in humanitarian emergencies
3. Planning and triage in the disaster scenario
4. Pediatric trauma
5. Management of prevalent infections in children following a disaster
6. Diarrhea and dehydration
7. Delivery and immediate neonatal care
8. Nutrition and malnutrition
9. The emotional impact of disasters in children and their families
10. Toxic exposures

Frequently asked questions


This site has been jointly created by the Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health and the Maternal and Child Health Department of Maimonides University; both of which are WHO Collaborating Centers in Maternal and Child Health. The course materials were developed with input from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Association for Health Research & Development (ACINDES). 

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the following people and organizations in the development of this online course. 

  • Course Director: Drs. Joseph Wathen and Lisa Umphrey
  • Project Manager: Daniel Nelson
  • Interactive Exercise Designer: Prof. Dr. Arnoldo Grosman
  • Interactive Exercise Team: Lic. Gilda Cecilia Azema and Gabriela Urman
  • Web Design for Interactive Cases: Estudio INI / DNA Design Studio
  • Online Site Development and Marketing: Michelle Shiver, Molly Moss and Lyndsey Crum, JD 

Center for Global Health

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

CU Medicine Building

13199 East Montview Boulevard

Suite 310

Mail Stop A090

Aurora, CO 80045

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