We hope our kids will never be in an emergency situation, or if they are, that we’re there to help them, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So when our kids are old enough to understand, we teach them what to do if there’s ever an emergency and there isn’t a grown-up around to help, and that includes teaching them to call 911. If you’re ready to teach your kiddo how to place an emergency call, start with these steps.
- When to call - The first step is talking to your child about what kind of situations they may need to call 911, like when someone is very hurt, something scary is happening and there’s not a grown-up around to help, or someone is having trouble breathing.
- What to expect - Talk to your child about who they will actually be talking to on the phone, which will be a 911 operator who will send help. Tell your child that the operator will want to know what is wrong and where they are. This is also a good time to help your child memorize their address. It’s also good to remind your kid that trying to stay calm is really important during an emergency.
- How to call - Show your little one how to actually place the call from your cell phone and your partner’s, too. Each phone is a little different and if you don’t already know how to place an emergency call from your locked home screen, you may need to search for specific directions so you can go over it step-by-step.
Once your child knows the basics, have them practice from time-to-time to reinforce it and make the process automatic. And it’s always good to remind your child that calling 911 as a prank or joke is definitely not funny, could get them into big trouble, and may keep someone who really needs help from getting it.