How do you teach your child what to do in an emergency?

Jessica - posted on 09/21/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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There have been a few cases on the news lately of 3-4year olds calling 000 (Im Australian) and saving a parents life in an emergency and it has left me wondering when and how have parents gone about teaching their children to do this? I realise my daughter is only 14months old but im interested for future reference. I think it is something all children should know how to do but have know idea when or how to start. And Im not just talking about teaching them to call 000 but also teaching them escape plans in case of fire and other such things.

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[deleted account]

Hi Jessica, I too am from Australia. My daughter is 3 1/2 yrs old and I started play "emergency services" with her about a year ago. We take it in turns to call 000 on the play phones and repeat our names, address etc. I sing our address because it's quite long and she has picked it up very well. I also ask her at random times to tell me her name, address and what's the number for help. I've also shown her how to open the stair gate and use the real phone. I try and make it fun and tell her not to get scared if something happens to me because she knows how to call a grown-up for help.

Tiffannie - posted on 09/22/2009

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I used to teach swimming lessons and lifeguard, In allmy classes we talked about safety, the best thing to do is practice, give her a phone (probably a play one to start) and just talk about the numbers and show her how to press them it really is simple as that, teach her her address, and her name, and phone number, maybe get some books from the library about rescue workers and police officers so she gets familiar with what they do and who she would be calling for help. Take her to the fire department for a tour they will have good information about escape plans, Practice your escape plans too, really have her climb out the window (with your supervision of course) pick a meeting place out side and really meet there and talk about how the practice run went... have conversations about scenerios and what to do... Its all about practice.

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Talking to your kids is the best way. There also may be some fun kids stories about it. But mostly just tell the kids the number 000, and what an emergency is. As with anything with kids make if fun, a game.

Heather - posted on 09/24/2009

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I am an EMT in New York and the best advice I can give you is to keep it simple. little ones dont have much of an attention span, as im sure you've noticed. you have to start teaching your child in a way that catches their attention and creates a lasting impression. a fourteen month old is still a little too young to understand and to process info like that right now, but around the age of two you can start taking your child to the fire house and ambulance station where they can see uniforms and vehicles and your local dispatch center or emergency squads may have some materials or helpful tips to help.

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