Knowing how to make a 9-1-1 call could be the most crucial skill a parent could teach their children, especially at a young age.
Preschool-age children (ages 3 and up) need to know what to do in case of emergency, and when it’s appropriate to call 9-1-1. Discuss with your child when you would make this life-saving call—when there is a fire, an intruder or unconscious family members in your home. Just as important, let them know this is not a call to make light of; a missing pet, a skinned elbow or a lost toy are not good reasons to make an emergency call.
Role-playing with your child using a play phone or an old cell phone is very effective to prepare them for an emergency. You play the dispatcher and your child plays the person in need. Ask your child questions like:
- what’s the emergency?,
- what’s your name?,
- what is your address and telephone number?
It may not be easy or pleasant, but could be the most important game you ever play with your child.