It is important to be as prepared as possible when calling 9-1-1. This is especially true for our youngest callers. We have compiled some information that will help prepare your children in the event that they have to call 9-1-1. This will save precious time and get you help when you need it the most.
- Teach your children their home address and phone number.
- When talking to your children about 9-1-1 always tell them to dial nine-one-one, never refer to this as nine-eleven.
- Explain that 9-1-1 is for any emergency dealing with police, fire, or EMS. Stress that 9-1-1 is not a toy or game.
- If 9-1-1 is called accidentally do not hang up. The dispatcher will assist you.
- Put your address near the phone and teach your children to trust the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
- When children babysit away from their house, they need to write the address of the house they are at down and keep it next to the phone.
- Teach your children to pay attention to landmarks and mile markers when they hit driving age so if they need 9-1-1 from a cell phone they can help the dispatcher locate them quicker.
- Teach them to speak loudly and clearly when calling 9-1-1. This will make the process that much easier.
Avoid discouraging your children from calling 9-1-1. We are here to help and assist you and your family. Encourage them to call if they have an emergency and practice with them at home. The more prepared they are, the faster we can get help to you.
NOTE: If your child calls 9-1-1 accidentally please do not yell at them or punish them; this may discourage them from calling when they may really need help.
For more information on keeping your children prepared and safe, visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. They provide 8 rules for kids' safety that parents should share with their children.