Teach your children HOW and WHEN TO call 9-1-1


Always tell them to dial "nine-one-one", never refer to this emergency number as "nine-eleven". There is no such number as "eleven" on the telephone and a child may easily become confused in the process of dialing.


  • Teach your children to TRUST the 9-1-1 operator - explain to them that 9-1-1 is their friend and a source of help to them during an emergency.
  • Teach your children their home address, phone number and full name.
  • Advise your children about any possible emergency situation likely to occur at your home or location. Explain what things to look out for.

If a member of the family has a medical condition, tell your children how to identify these symptoms, i.e., person not breathing or suddenly collapsing, etc.

  • Instruct the child to call 9-1-1 should these symptoms occur.
  • Carefully explain to your children that 9-1-1 is for an emergency and that an emergency is when they need to get law enforcement, the fire department or paramedics in a hurry.

Also explain that 9-1-1 IS NOT A TOY OR GAME and should never be played with unless it is actually needed.

Teach your child if the “accidentally dial 9-1-1” DO NOT hang up. If you hang up, we will send a Police Officer to your home to make sure everything is alright.

Possibly use the classic "Crying Wolf" story and relate it to the use of 9-1-1

At the same time you must avoid discouraging a child from using 9-1-1. Any time that they think they need to call, encourage them to use 9-1-1, even if they are in doubt.

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