Listed below are just a few tips to help you teach your children about 911. We receive calls every day from children, some are actual emergencies and some are just children playing with the phone. It is very important to teach your children at a young age that 911 is there to help them in case of an emergency and to never be afraid to ask for help.
Write your home address, the names of everyone living in the home, as well as phone numbers down on a piece of paper and put it next to the phone or in an area that your child can find it. Make sure you sit down and tell your child what the information on the paper is and where it will be in case of an emergency.
It is important to advise your children that there are times to call 911 and times not to call 911. Go over different emergency situations such as a parent that won’t wake up, they see a fire or smoke, someone is hurt and not responding or bleeding or if they feel really scared and unsafe and no adult is there with them.
Emergency dispatchers’ receive many prank calls from children and it is vital that you sit down and discuss the importance of not dialing 911 unless there is an emergency and they can end up in a lot of trouble for prank calling 911.
- You may find it helpful to take the time and act out a few different emergency situations with your children. Act out a scenario in which a fire has started, practice family fire drills which include safe escape routes from the home, when to use them, how to call 911 and a meeting place outside the home where family members will find each other. Emphasize that no one should ever go back inside a burning building for any reason. Act out a scenario where someone is hurt and needs an ambulance and act out a scenario where there is a stranger trying to get into the home. Show them pictures of police officers, fire fighters and paramedics in uniform so they will recognize them if they ever need help.
- If you give your children old cell phones to play with please take the batteries out of them because even though they are no longer active, they are still able to call out to 911.