Children and Emergencies

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teaching your child how to use 911 in an emergency could be one of the simplest - and most important - lessons youll ever share. Dr. Edward Hill gives parents the 4-1-1 on teaching children to dial 9-1-1 in todays Sixty Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Everyone needs to know about calling 911 in an emergency. But children in particular need specifics about what an emergency is. Asking your child, What would you do if we had a fire in our house? or What would you do if you saw someone trying to break in? gives you a chance to discuss what constitutes an emergency and what should be done if one occurs.

For younger children, it might also help to talk about who the emergency workers are in your community, such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses.

Learning what is an emergency goes hand in hand with learning what isnt. A fire, an intruder in the home, an unconscious family memberthese are all things that would require a call to 911. A skinned knee, a stolen bicycle or a lost pet wouldnt. Still, teach your child that if he or she is ever in doubt and theres no adult around to ask to always make the call.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.