In a robbery incident at Orlando Florida, an 11-year-old child dialled 911, hid in her closet, and remained calm even as the robbers tried to break into her room. Such bravery could only occur because she was educated. What would your child have done in this same case of emergency?
Whether it’s a robbery attack, fire outbreak, food poisoning, fainting or even getting lost, your child should be able to handle an emergency situation to an extent by knowing what to do, who to call, or where to run to. For an adult, this may be common knowledge as your cognitive function has been developed, and life experiences will automatically ignite your emergency response ability. For children it is different – they need to be taught and practise regularly until they become pros at emergency response.
This article will help you guide your child through different emergency cases and how to stay safe.
Most children under the age of 5-years do not know the names of their parents, house addresses or phone numbers by heart. Asides ABC and 123, these are the first things you should teach your kids – this way they do not only learn about emergency calls but also their identity in case they get lost. Make your child recite your phone number and that of the next person you want them to contact if you are unavailable. Also drive them past your house occasionally and see if they will recognize the house number or the building.
Educate your child on the following things in case of a robbery attack.
- Hide under/behind a bed/chair or any raised platform
- Lie down flat on the floor (to avoid being hit by a stray bullet)
- Call the police, send a text to a mom/dad/ family member/ neighbour
- Remain quiet and stay still in the hideout until the robbers are gone.
Take your kids through a fire drill and rehearse with them to the point where they can carry out the drill even if woken up from sleep.
Your child should be able to do the following:
- Distinguish a fire alert sound from a whistling kettle or any other sound.
- Cover up with a cloth or blanket when trying to escape through the nearest door or window.
- Run to a safe point few meters away from the fire scene (which you must have told them about earlier)
- Call for help – Fire service, ambulance, mom/dad/ family member/ neighbour.
- Refrain from going back into the house to rescue any person or toys.
When it comes to food poison, children are more prone to vomiting and stooling than adults, therefore inform your child to…
- Stop eating immediately they feel unwell and avoid food for the next few hours
- Drink water, or an electrolyte solution (sugar + salt + warm water) You should have an already made solution in the fridge/shelf.
- Stay away from dairy, spicy and fatty foods.
- Get some rest.
Carrying out Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the first help an unconscious person needs to regain consciousness. Watch the video below with your child, and teach them how to conduct a CPR. Note that babies, children and adults require different CPR techniques, however, the basic routines are similar.
Difficult in Breathing
Breathing is a major part of existence, and a shortage of it can lead to death. It takes about five to ten minutes of not breathing for a human to develop serious irreversible brain damage, which eventually may lead to death, especially in younger children. Hence, teach your child how to do the following when they experience difficulty breathing.
- Adopt pursed-lip breathing
- Sit forward or lie down in a relaxed position
- Breathe from the diaphragm
- Stay under a fan to get more air
Imagine your kids are home alone and there is an emergency that requires cash, what will they do? It is advisable to keep some money (no matter how small) at home, and inform your child (the oldest preferably) where he or she can find the money, in case of an emergency. Do well to emphasize that the money is for emergencies ONLY and explain different emergency scenarios to the child for better understanding.
For your older kids who have mobile phones, you can also teach them how to use GTRescue. You never know when that knowledge will come in handy.
You’ll also need to write out some emergency numbers and paste on the wall for your child to memorize.
- Your Personal phone number
- Your Parents’ and neighbours phone numbers
- State Security Service (SSS) – 08132222105
- Police, Fire Service, Ambulance, Domestic Violence (Lagos Emergency Services) – 767 or 112
- Federal Road Safety Corps – 122 or 07002255372
- GTConnect Customer Care – 0700482666328, 08029002900, 08039003900
- Airtime top-up – Dial *737*Amount#
To download the emergency numbers of Police Command PROs in different states across Nigeria, click HERE.