It’s so important to teach children about emergencies. Does your little one know what to do when an emergency strikes? Do they know how to protect themselves? What about how to properly help others? If the answer to these questions is no, then it’s time to equip them with some basic skills.
Children must learn how to manage situations independently and confidently. As parents, it’s important to understand that you’re not always going to be around when an emergency hits. This also shouldn’t be a topic to avoid either as children as young as toddlers need to begin learning this. These are some tips for teaching your littlest ones about emergency situations.
Takes the fear out by providing scenarios
For young children, sounds like smoke alarms, firefighters, police, flashing sirens, or even other loud noises can all be very scary. Even for adults, it’s fairly frightening too. But it’s very important for them to recognize that these sounds are meant to help people. This is also the time to explain to them what to do when a fire gets on them, such as the Stop, Drop, and Roll method.
In general, they should know that some scary situations will happen but let them know that they don’t need to be scary. Teach your children what a fire extinguisher is, teach them about the fire alarm at home and at school, explain that stairs need to be taken during a fire. All of this information can add up to be a lot.
Teach kids about 911 and first responders
It’s so important for children to know that there are first responders that help when they or someone else dial 911. It’s also important to let them know that not all emergencies need to have a first responder or a 911 call. This includes urgent care centers, and even driving someone to a hospital rather than getting an ambulance. It may be tricky to teach about the importance of first responders but also teach about the importance that not all emergencies need a first responder.
Teach about basic first aid skills
While it may be a bit unrealistic to expect a small child to do major first aid, teaching them the basics will massively help with the child’s learning development. You never know when you, a caregiver, or even their friend could be injured and the child is left to administer first aid until emergency services arrive. There have been plenty of situations on the news where it was up to a very young child to help keep an incapacitated caregiver to survive. Teaching first aid to a child doesn’t need to be graphic at all. It can be a fun little game if you want it to be so they’ll pay attention. Some ideas can include:
- Doing first aid on a baby doll
- Doing a mock injury and explaining what needs to be done
- Play “doctor” with them and act as a patient
- Teach them about realistic emergencies that could happen in your families such as seizures or heart attacks
- Let them know that they don’t have to try to overstep any abilities