Environment Canada estimates that lightning kills about 10 Canadians every year and injures up to 160 more, so storm safety is no laughing matter! It’s hard to convince kids to stop their outdoor activities when they hear thunder in the distance, but lightning can strike up to 16 kilometers (approximately 10 miles) from a storm, so they should head indoors as soon as they hear the first rumble. Several sources that I read on this topic, indicated that children should stay indoors at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder has been heard.
I imagine that it would come as a bit of a surprise to most people, but there are thunderstorm safety rules for the indoors, as well as the outdoors. Although kids are vastly safer inside versus outside the house, they should still make an effort to stay away from water, appliances and other things that can conduct electricity, while a lightning storm is in full swing.
See the below article from Environment Canada containing thunderstorm safety tips to follow, both outdoors and indoors.
Go over these storm safety rules with your children so that they have the skills to keep themselves safe in a thunderstorm, if they should ever need to. In addition, make sure that you model safe thunderstorm behavior to your children (how many times have your children seen you continue with your outdoor activities while thunder is rumbling all around you, or sat with you on the porch to “watch the show”?).
If your child gets anxious during a storm, you may also wish to read my post entitled, “Fear of thunderstorms“.