Teaching children about 9-1-1 is important. Not only do they need to know how to use 9-1-1, but what an emergency is. Can they articulate what's happening around them? Do they know who emergency workers are?
What is an emergency?
It's good for children to be able to identify between an emergency and a non-emergency. Here are some examples that you can share with them while teaching them how and when to call 9-1-1.
- Someone is hurt
- Someone has a weapon and is threatening other people
- There is a car accident
- There is a fire
- Someone breaks into your house
- Someone is choking
- Someone is having an allergic reaction
What isn't an emergency?
Here are a few examples of incidents that children may consider emergencies, but are not:
- Making a prank call
- Your sister or brother is being mean to you
- The family pet or your favorite toy is lost
- You are bored.
Here are some tips to teach your children:
1. Only call 9-1-1 in an emergency. It's not a joke and should not be used unless there is an emergency.
2. Make sure you're safe before calling. For example, if there's a fire in the home, leave the house before calling 9-1-1.
3. Know your address, phone number and apartment number, if applicable.
4. Talking to the dispatcher and emergency responder is okay. They will help you. Stay calm and tell them what help you need.
For more tips, check out 911 For Kids.com.