Parents need to teach their kids as they grow. You should teach them right from wrong and to instill in them the values you feel they need when they get older. You must start teaching them at a very young age since they soak up lessons like sponges, even if they seem too young to comprehend most of what’s happening around them.
You need to teach your kids to watch out for danger and identify it. You can talk to them about what to do if they’re ever in any trouble.
For instance, you can teach them about calling 911 if they ever need help and you’re not there to do it for them. You can talk to them about this concept and what calling 911 sets in motion.
911 Works All Over the Country
Calling 911 after a West Palm Beach accident is the right move if you live there, but you can also take that same action anywhere in the US. Virtually anyone who grew up in America knows that calling 911 summons emergency services. That number has existed for several decades, and the country has not changed its meaning.
Calling 911 puts you in touch with a live operator, and you can explain the emergency to them. If you have a medical problem, they can send paramedics or take other appropriate actions. They might instruct you on what you should do till help arrives.
You can tell them you have a fire situation, and they can contact the fire department for you. If someone wants to kill you or you’re in some other danger that a criminal poses, they can contact the police for you and send them in your direction.
911 remains the all-purpose emergency number. As a parent, you probably learned that yourself as a child. Now, you can teach your kids about it. It could save your life or theirs.
What to Tell Your Kids About Calling 911
As soon as you feel your child can understand the lesson, you can tell them all about 911. You can tell them they should only call the number if a genuine emergency occurs. You need to impress upon them that they can’t call that number for frivolous reasons.
You can tell them that if you’re there in an emergency, they can defer to your judgment. You can call 911 for them or take any other appropriate action. They can also call upon another adult to act if there’s any danger.
Tell them to call 911 if you’re not there and there’s no other adult to help them. If there’s no teacher, camp counselor, etc., and an emergency occurs, that’s when they need to consider calling that number for help.
Run Through Scenarios With Them
It’s not a bad idea to run through some scenarios with your kids about when they should call 911. For instance, you might talk to them about fire situations, dog attacks, kidnapping threats, etc. Anything dangerous you think you need to talk to your kids about, you can probably bring up in this context.
You can tell them to call 911 if something happens to you and there’s no other adult around. You might tell them they can run to a neighbor’s house if you have that kind of relationship with your neighbors. If not, they’ll need to use their best judgment. Going through some situations where they should call 911 can help them identify such an occasion if it ever happens.
You might even play a little game where you run through some scenarios and then ask them whether they should call 911 for each of them. That can show you whether they understand the concept.
You might live with someone who has an unusual medical condition. Maybe they sometimes have strokes or seizures. Perhaps you, your spouse, or your partner have that condition.
Tell your kids about that and prepare them to call 911 if it ever happens. You can also show them a medical alert bracelet you wear or that the afflicted family member wears. That should say to dial 911 on it to remind anyone what to do if the worst ever happens.
Restraining Order Violations
You might have a situation where you have a relative who could harm your child or try to kidnap them. Maybe you took out a restraining order against that person.
You can tell your child they need to run and find you or call 911 if they ever see that person. You can tell them never to go anywhere with that individual and to regard it as an emergency if that person ever approaches them.
These conditions exist for some families. If you feel you’re justified in bringing up this possibility with your kids, it’s not a bad idea to do so. Only you can decide about that.
You’ll Feel Better When Your Kids Know What to Do
After you teach your kids about calling 911, you should feel better about how they interact with the world. You will try to be there with them as much as possible to keep them out of danger, but kids also need to assert their independence as time passes. Eventually, you might feel okay with them playing out of your sight in the neighborhood when they become old enough.
You will also send them off to school, so you’ll no longer see them, though you know their location. The point is that times will come when your child or children are not right under your nose anymore, and they’re with other adults or spending time on their own.
If they know what an emergency means and to call 911 if one ever happens, that should help you get over any separation anxiety you feel. You want to shelter your kids as much as they can, but they also need to grow up eventually. By telling them about 911, you’re giving them a tool for protection.