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How to Prepare Your Kids for Emergencies

Teach Your Children How and When to Dial 9-1-1


To kids, emergencies are something that mom or dad typically handle. What if you weren't home, though? Would your kids know what to do? Prepare your kids for emergencies with these practical tips:

Define Problem vs. Emergency

First, teach your children the difference between a problem and an emergency. A problem is something that they need help with, but does not require emergency services. An emergency is a situation that requires immediate assistance from the police or fire department, or requires immediate medical assistance through paramedics or EMTs.


When your child experiences a problem, he or she should decide whether to call you immediately, call a neighbor, or whether the problem can wait until you get home. For example, you'd probably want your child to call you if he or she:

  • Felt scared
  • Had trouble getting into the house
  • Got home and found that the electricity was off


The following issues would warrant an immediate call to 9-1-1:

  • A fire
  • Evidence of a break-in
  • A medical emergency, such as someone being unresponsive or bleeding profusely

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