Dialing 911 for Kids logoTeaching Children to Use 9-1-1

Seconds count during an emergency. Everyone needs to use 9-1-1 properly to get quick help during a fire, medical emergency or a crime.

This is especially true for children. They can, and must be taught how to correctly use the 9-1-1 system to save a life.

Follow these guidelines to teach children the proper way to use 9-1-1 to report emergencies:


  • Always call from a safe location. If the house is on fire, get out first and then call from a nearby telephone.
  • Teach children their full name and address. And always post your full address near your home phone.
  • Teach children to remain as calm as possible when speaking with the 9-1-1 operator so they can get the provide the correct information to send help.
  • Wait until the 9-1-1 operator tells you it is okay to hang up the telephone. It is common for 9-1-1 operators to keep young callers on the line until help arrives. 9-1-1 operators are also trained to provide life saving directions to callers during medical emergencies.
  • If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, don't hang up. Tell the 9-1-1 operator there is no emergency and you dialed by accident. If you hang up before speaking with the operator, they could send emergency crews to your location needlessly.

Do not...

  • Do not call 9-1-1 as a joke or prank. You can get into serious trouble. More importantly, you can delay someone else getting the help they need in an emergency.
  • Do not hang up the telephone until the 9-1-1 operator tells you it is okay to do so.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 for animal emergencies. Call the ASPCA or your local police precinct's non-emergency number for assistance.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 for noisy neighbors, loud music, or barking dogs. Again, call your local police precinct.

Please save 9-1-1 for real emergencies!

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