How to Teach Children When to Call 9-1-1

Posted at 10:34 AM, Feb 24, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - Children calling 9-1-1 to save a dying parent is a story you may hear regularly in the news, but how do you teach your child when it's time to make that potentially lifesaving call?

The Tallahassee Police Department says it's important to make sure children know that 9-1-1 is only for emergencies but also, what situations qualify as an emergency.

Some of the situations they recommend teachings kids to call 9-1-1 for include if there is a fire, an accident, a crime, or if someone is very sick or hurt.

They add that if you have a family with a heart condition, you should teach children the symptoms of a heart attack and let them know to call 9-1-1 if they see any of those symptoms.

Officer David Northway says it is also important for children to know how to use a cell phone to make calls.

"We used to use house phones and the numbers were literally there. You pick the phone up, there is a dial tone, you dial 9-1-1 and it was easy. Now with cell phones, which many families have gone to for their only house phone, there are things that could pop up," said Northway.

He says teaching kids how to turn on the cell phone is an important first step to keep kids from panicking in an emergency.

To see more tips from the Tallahassee Police Department, go to