Does your child know what to do in case of an emergency in your home? Have you taught them how to call 9-1-1?
Teaching children how to call 9-1-1 is vital and could save lives. Here are some things to remember when showing them how to use the phone and make that emergency phone call.
- Never say “nine-eleven.” There’s no “eleven” on the phone dial. Always say “nine-one-one.”
- Write down and post your address near the phone. Children may not remember your address in an emergency.
- Always call from a safe place. In case of a fire or a gas leak, it’s important that everyone leaves the house and goes to a safe place away from the house. It should be a pre-determined place that everyone knows, like a neighbor’s house. THEN call 9-1-1.
- NEVER call 9-1-1 as a joke or prank. Calling 9-1-1 is for EMERGENCIES ONLY! The caller can get into serious trouble and keep a real emergency call from being answered quickly.
- If you call 9-1-1, be prepared to stay on the phone and talk to the disptacher. It may take some time to describe what kind of emergency it is. For small children, the dispatcher may want them to stay on the line until fire, police or emergency service personnel arrive on the scene.
- If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, DON’T HANG UP!. Stay on the line and quickly explain to the dispatcher that the call was a mistake and there is no emergency.
Take time with children and practice different scenarios so that they’re familiar with the idea of calling 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. For example, ask the child “What would you do if there were a fire in the kitchen?” “What would you do if someone in the house were hurt…or even unconscious?” Talk about different types of emergencies and how your child or children should respond to them.