How young should we teach a child to call 911? That’s a good question. Many preschools will dedicate a week to teaching 3-4 year olds how to call 911 and other safety information they might need in case of trouble.

If you do a quick search on Google, such as “4 year old calls 911” you will likely find various news articles and recordings of humorous reasons young children have called 911 along with tales of heroic children who knew just what to do when the only adult with them passed out, such as this news clip on YouTube.

Yes, a preschooler might needlessly call 911, but they may also be in a situation one day where calling 911 saves someone’s life. With this in mind, I encourage you to teach your child how to call 911, but be sure to tell them that it is only if there is an emergency.

The following song is a great way to start teaching your child about calling 911.

If you have a different emergency number in your area, this song may still work, just switch out the number as you sing.

*As this is an original song, please be sure to include my name as the songwriter any time you share this song.

9-1-1 Song

Original song by: S. J. Little

Tune: If You’re Happy And You Know It

If you need the ambulance, call 9-1-1.

If you need the ambulance, call 9-1-1.

If you need the ambulance, if you need the ambulance,

If you need the ambulance, call 9-1-1.

 

If you need the police, call 9-1-1.

If you need the police, call 9-1-1.

If you need the police, if you need the police,

If you need the police, call 9-1-1.

 

If you need the fire truck, call 9-1-1.

If you need the fire truck, call 9-1-1.

If you need the fire truck, if you need the fire truck,

If you need the fire truck, call 9-1-1.

 

Actions

Every time you sing “9-1-1” hold up the correlating number of fingers – 9 fingers, then 1 finger and then 1 finger again.

If you want, find pictures of an ambulance, police car, and fire truck and point to each one as you sing about it.

Other Safety Tips to Teach Preschoolers

There are many other safety tips you can teach a preschooler. What follows are a few I recommend. If you know others, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

  • Teach your child their own first and last name
  • Teach your child their parents’ first and last names
  • Teach your child their parents’ phone number
  • Teach your child “stranger danger”
    • If you aren’t there with them, a stranger, no matter how nice they may seem, might want to hurt them. They should never go anywhere with a stranger, unless you give them permission, even if the stranger offers candy or a chance to see puppies.
  • Teach your child who is safe
    • Explain to your child that if they ever get lost in a crowd, they should look for either someone who works there or a mom with kids as these are more likely to help them find safety. Next time you’re out at a large store or venue with your child, practice spotting employees or other safe people your child could go to if they need help.
  • Teach your child what to do in case of a fire
    • Stay low and go outside. You could even practice having a fire drill.
    • Show your child pictures of a fireman with his mask on. Teach your child that this is what a fireman might look like if he was coming to rescue them from a fire.

Let us pray that our children never need to use any of these safety tips, but, just in case, the preschool years are a good time to begin teaching these important things.

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