Child Safety Basics | Inspiring Health | © Sacred Heart Hospital

911 Basics for Children

Teach your child what to expect in case the unexpected happens.

Teaching your child what to do in the event of a fire, break-in, or medical emergency could be one of the most important lessons they can learn.

Robin Schultz, Emergency Department Director at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, recommends using these tips to help prepare your child for an emergency:

  • Define “emergency.” “Tell them it’s a word to only use in serious situations,” Schultz says. “Is somebody unconscious or bleeding? Is there a fire? Is a stranger trying to come into the house?”
  • Include them in the plan. Talk as a family about what to do during different kinds of emergencies. Ask questions to help your child feel included in the conversation.
  • Practice. “Have your child call you on the phone and pretend you are a 911 operator,”

Schultz says. “Ask him to describe the emergency and give you his address, then tell him to stay on the phone.”

If you are going out of town, leave a note with your child’s caretaker to take to the doctor or emergency room if needed. Include the child’s date of birth, pediatrician’s name and contact information, and information about any allergies or health conditions the child has. Also provide your child’s caretaker with the address for the closest urgent care center and hospital.

For more information about our emergency services, please visit HSHS Sacred Heart or St. Joseph’s.

You may also be interested in “How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?