As a firefighters wife and daughter, I have seen families go through devastating situations and unfortunately some could have possibly had a different outcome if the children had just known this information.
Emergencies can happen to anyone at anytime, please remember that.
I have taught the kids that if Mummy or Daddy were ever hurt and couldn't talk or had fallen and hurt themselves and were not answering them, to pick up the phone (which we have in their reach but hidden away enough that they forget about it during the day) to call 000 (three 0's) and then push the ladybug on the phone.
I have super glued on the ladybug stickers so they will not be coming off. I have also put a ladybug on the poster after the three 0's to remind them.
Of course you do not want to freak out or panic your children when talking about this topic, so make sure you are sitting quietly with no distractions and calmly explain that this is a way of keeping your family safe. Explain that it is to talk with police, ambulance and firefighters.
When the 000 call is made, you are asked if you would like police, fire or ambulance. If a child is on the end of the phone and not sure of this, this is not a problem as the person taking these calls has been trained and will make sure that all emergencies services needed will be dispatched.
I have explained to my older child to just say what has happened, so "my mummy/daddy wont wake up" or "there is a fire in our house". Then tell your child that the lady/man will ask questions and they can answer these to get help.
It is also important that your child knows
- their name
- their surname
- their address
- their parents names
- their telephone number also, although this can be trickier to learn, still go over it each week and eventually they will learn it.
PLEASE NOTE: I have written 000 or 911 as they are the emergency numbers I know for Australia (000) and America (911). I am not sure of other countries emergency numbers.