The popularity of television programs that dramatize emergency situations and celebrate real life heroes is no accident. These programs find a receptive audience in viewers because they portray ordinary people performing acts of courage under extraordinary pressure.

Many of the heroes featured on the programs are children, which raises these two questions:

  • If faced with an emergency, would your child know what to do?
  • Has your child been given the tools he needs to confront an emergency calmly and with confidence?

It is true that most school-age children are taught about emergency services. Children who live in areas where the service is available usually learn about 9-1-1 before they learn their own telephone numbers. Elementary school classes often visit local fire stations to learn fire prevention and safety tips. Many resources and curriculum guides are available to schools and local agencies.

However, children learn best when their lessons are reinforced at home. There are a number of steps parents can take to teach their children the appropriate actions to take in an emergency situation.