To you, 911 is a lifesaving number. If you’ve had to dial it, you know how serious and nerve-wracking the experience is.
But for your child, the telephone might look kind of like a toy and dialing 911 isn’t something young kids can fully grasp.
For this week’s #TuesdayTips, we’re bringing you some pointers on talking to your kids about dialing 911.
Tell your child to dial from the home phone, not a cell phone.
Tell your child to listen to 911 operators and to not hang up until told to do so.
Make sure your child knows how to clearly say his or her first and last name once able, and also that they’ve memorized their address, so that operators can better help them.
Communicate to your kids the importance of telling the truth when dialing 911.
Teach your child when to call 911 like when an adult can’t wake up, when there’s a fire, when there’s a stranger in the home, etc. Lay out clear examples and expectations
You can have your child practice on an unplugged phone so they know what to expect and how to handle the situation.
One of the most important tips on the list is teaching your child when to call 911. Dialing 3 digits is easy. Using the right phone isn’t always necessary, and many operators can trace a home phone’s location if the young child can’t tell them their address.
Check out this video by the Toronto Police Service to see how important it is to talk to kids about calling 911: