Does Your Child Know How to Handle an Emergency?

The safety of the entire family usually seems to fall on Mom, but it's important for even the smallest family members to know what to do if disaster strikes. Whether it's an injury, crime or natural disaster, you can teach your children how to take control and get help when you're unable to do so. Start by teaching children as young as three your home phone number and emergency numbers such as 911. A fun way to ensure that he remembers the digits is to invest in some number-shaped cookie cutters and bake and eat cookies in the order of your number. Remember to teach children your address as well. Posting stickers or signs throughout the home, especially near phones, help keep that information fresh in their minds. Disconnect the phone and allow them to practice.

Show kids how to use your cell phone as well, including any passwords you might use to unlock the phone for use. Help young ones remember how to handle emergencies by role playing with action figures or other toys. This can be especially helpful with actions such as putting out a fire -- a doll can demonstrate "stop, drop and roll" or what to do if there is stranger danger. A secret password that only the parent and children know can alert kids if there is an emergency. When it's uttered, children will know it's time to get help. As they get older, show them where your emergency supplies are kept and take them through drills of different scenarios -- fire, tornadoes, or whatever natural disasters may afflict your area. Children as young as 11 can be certified in first aid and even CPR. Look into resources such as the YMCA and local parks and recreation organizations to get more information about child safety courses. Who knows? Your child could save another person's life, including his own.