9-1-1 for Kids

Educating children on the basics of calling 9-1-1 is imperative to their safety and ensuring the best outcomes from children's emergencies.

Kids may feel scared or nervous if they have to call 911. Tell them that the emergency operators who answer the phone talk to a lot of kids who are nervous or worried when they call. Tell them to stay as calm as they can.

9-1-1 Basics for Kids

Everyone needs to know about calling 911 in an emergency. But kids also need to know the specifics about what an emergency is. Asking them questions like, "What would you do if we had a fire in our house?" or "What would you do if you saw someone trying to break in?" gives you a chance to discuss emergencies and what to do if one happens.

What to Teach Your Children About 9-1-1

For younger children, it might also help to talk about who the emergency workers are in your community — police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and so on — and what kinds of things they do to help people who are in trouble

Make sure your kids know that even though they shouldn't give personal information to strangers, it's OK to trust the 911 operator. Explain that the emergency operator will ask them what, where, and who questions such as:

  • "What is the emergency?" or "What happened?"
  • "Where are you?" or "Where do you live?"
  • "Who needs help?" or "Who is with you?"

When Not to Call 9-1-1

  • For information, directory assistance, or for specific phone numbers
  • When you are bored and just want to talk
  • To get help for your pet
  • As a prank
  • For non-life threatening situations
  • For a crime that is no longer in progress