Teaching kids about emergencies: 7 important lessons for kids

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It is never too early to teach your kids what to do in an emergency. Here are 7 lessons on emergencies for you to teach your children.

Dual-income families are stretched for time, and parents depend on strict daily routines to ensure their lives run smoothly. But what if your routine is disrupted when something goes horribly wrong? Have you thought about teaching kids about emergencies?

Teaching kids about emergencies is simple. Teaching them easy lessons such as how to call for help and what to do if someone at home has an emergency could help save lives!

Teaching kids about emergencies:

1. Never too soon

Don’t underestimate your child’s learning ability. Your child is fully capable of learning about safety and handling emergencies from the moment they can walk; we’ve seen babies as early as 17 months learn how to read.

2. Recognising emergencies

Discuss possible emergency scenarios with your child, and run them through what to do in case one actually happens. Teaching your child to recognise when something is wrong is especially important if you have family members suffering from chronic and long-term ailments such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.

3. Keep within reach of children

Your medicine bottles will always carry a note of caution for the opposite, and we are not going to dispute their warning. Just as you know what medicine to administer when your child falls sick, you need to let your child know about the medication that’s important to you, particularly if you or your partner is taking a particular medicine regularly (blood pressure pills, Ventolin inhalers, etc.).

Be open with your child during times when you take your medicine, and take some time to explain what the medication does, taking care to ensure your child understands medication is not a toy or candy. In case of emergency, your child will be in a better position to help you get what you need.

4. Calling for help

Teaching kids about emergencies

Teaching kids about emergencies: Teach your kid emergency numbers like 999

Emergency numbers such as 999 are deliberately created for easy dialling, so it will be a cinch for your child to understand. To ensure your child doesn’t abuse the number, approach the subject with seriousness and make him understand that this is a lesson in discipline, not play.

Also, the phone isn’t the only way to call for help. Your child can also call out to get attention from neighbours or people passing by.

5. Learning life-saving manoeuvres

If you’re keen to introduce life-saving techniques to your child, your first step would be to teach your child how blood circulation and breathing is essential to the functioning of the body. Knowing how the heart works helps your child understand how to administer CPR and handle choking.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Heritage Gallery offers exhibits and hands-on tools for pre-schoolers and young children to learn about first-aid, CPR and fire safety. You can also supplement your child’s learning through the SCDF’s Community Emergency Preparedness Programme for adults, that includes day courses for first aid, CPR and fire safety.

6. Avoid blood

Exposed blood could lead to infection, and the last thing you want is your child to unknowingly risk his or her own life in a bid to save another’s. Make sure your child knows not to touch any exposed wounds or blood whilst waiting for help. However, in such situations, your child’s voice may still be the most assuring to the victim, so have your child learn to stay near the person and keep talking until help arrives.

7. Don’t move

teaching kids about emergencies

When dealing with someone who is unconscious, it is vital that your child know not to move the person to avoid causing further damage to existing injuries the victim may have. However, you should also go through some examples of life-threatening situations where your child should try to move someone to save his life.

Got more tips on teaching kids about emergencies? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!