Teaching kids how to act in emergencies

A young girl sitting on the floor of a bedroom, looking at a phone in her hands. Credit: bruce mars / unsplash.comAre you a caregiver to a child? Have you taught them what to do in case of an emergency?

While caregivers are there to help kids, there are emergency situations when the roles may reverse, and a caregiver or other person will need the help of a child.

When you teach your kids what to do in an emergency, you’re imparting an important life skill that could help save someone’s life one day.


Jaycee and Jenine’s story

Jenine Berezowski had taught her daughter Jaycee at an early age how to unlock her cell phone and call 911 in case of an emergency.

In March 2021, Jenine Berezowski was recovering from recent dental surgery. She was taking a prescribed painkiller and developed a sensitivity to the medication which resulted in her losing consciousness. 

Six-year-old Jaycee sprang into action, unlocking her mom’s phone and calling 911. As this incident did not occur at their home, emergency services guided Jaycee to go outside to look at the street names and numbers to get the ambulance to the residence.

When the paramedics arrived, Jaycee was able to control their great dane dog Duke, who was hovering over Jenine. She managed to put Duke into a bedroom so that the paramedics could aid Jenine. Jaycee comforted her mother and kept her calm by rubbing her back while the paramedics worked. Jenine regained consciousness, and was taken to hospital and monitored overnight. 

Jaycee had wanted to become a doctor when she’s older, but has changed her mind and now wants to be a paramedic!


Acting in emergencies

You can teach kids from a very early age a simple version of the Check, Call, Care emergency response.

Remind them to stay calm, look for dangers, and never risk their own safety. Then:
  • CHECK: if the person can talk to you.
  • CALL: if the person responds, find out if there is a need to call 911. If the person does not respond, call for help and call 911. Make sure your child knows how to make an emergency call from a cell phone.
  • CARE: follow the instructions from the person you are speaking to at emergency services.


Stay Safe! program

If your child is 9 to 13 years old and you’d like to give them a well-rounded understanding of how to prepare for, recognize, and respond to unexpected situations, we can recommend the Red Cross’ Stay Safe! program. The program teaches age-appropriate skills for responding to emergencies, including Check, Call, Care and first aid skills for asthma, anaphylaxis, nosebleeds, insect stings and conscious choking.
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