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What would your young children do in an emergency?

What would your young children do in an emergency?

I love my readers.

I love you all so much because you make my job so much easier by when  you get in touch and remind me about important topics I need to get covered on this blog. Today’s article is a PRIME example of this and today’s blog is really, really important.

One of our lovely readers was recently very poorly and when her condition worsened suddenly and she found herself unable to breathe, fortunately her husband was at home and was able to telephone for an ambulance and ensure that she received the medical care she urgently needed.

But as Mums we often spend huge amounts of time at home on our own with our children. Indeed the amazing single Mamans amongst us will rarely have another adult in the home.  What if the unthinkable happened? Would your children know what to do to make the situation that bit better and keep themselves safe?

Now the CheltenhamBébé is  just over two. She’s a bright little bean but I’m not sure her skills would stretch to dialling 999 so the time for her is not yet right, but if you have a mature three year old or a pre schooler who is able to absorb some simple instructions, then taking some time to have a chat about what to do in an emergency is a really sensible use of half an hour of your time.

But how to do it in a way that doesn’t leave them anxiety ridden and certain that a terrible emergency is just around the corner… I guess that’s the tricky bit. I’m no expert in child psychology but I’m pretty sure that taking some time to make sure you teach them sensitively is almost as important as teaching them in the first place. Then you need to make sure they understand that they must only do it in a true emergency… it’s a bit of a tight rope to walk when it comes to how detailed you go.

I’ve scoured YouTube for some useful videos to help you discuss the topic with your young child and unfortunately they are all pretty useless. I did find this link to East Midlands NHS Trust which has some really handy downloadable activity books and a colouring sheet to help broach the subject whilst doing something your children might enjoy. Also here’s a link to an online game from The Red Cross to help children get a feel for what to do if things go wrong.

Initially helping your children learn how to dial 999 is a really great start. Older children should be helped to memorise their address and the phone number of someone else who might be able to help too.  I guess the advice is that you know your child best so you know the extent to which you can discuss the issue without giving them nightmares.

This is one of those chores that there just never seems to be a convenient time to do…. but better to do it and it be a complete waste of time, than to need them to have the skills and wish you’d got round to it.

Let me know how you get on?






  1. Abi McPherson
    February 12, 2018 / 10:20 am

    Thanks Kate this is a great article. There are so many things we have to remember as parents hopefully this will have been useful for some of your followers x

  2. February 12, 2018 / 10:26 am

    My children remember the Staying Alive advert on TV about CPR. They didn’t have to use the skills when our daughter collapsed but they know that we did. TV campaigns are really helpful such as the one about choking.

  3. Elena Abell
    February 13, 2018 / 8:54 am

    Really interesting! I definitely must have a chat with my 6 year old about this. I’ve recently been working to help put in place policy at a National level for guidelines to local authorities on Infant and young child feeding in emergencies. This made me think, definitely great to get out smalls clued up on our personal risk but are we clued up for ourselves and our families if there was a local or National emergency? Would you know what to pack in a grab bag? Would you be able to feed your baby/toddler safely and hygenically (particularly important if your bottle feeding)? Shockingly we have guidelines on how to look after pets and circus animals in a UK emergency but not infants and toddlers. Hopefully that will change shortly. In the meantime, every local authority has a resilience group and associated web page so worth going on there and checking how to prepare yourself and your family in an emergency. The Red Cross also has an awesome app to monitor possible emergencies according to your postcode. You just never know!

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