How prepared are you and your family in the event of an emergency? Would your children know what to do and where to go if there was a fire in the house, or if a family member became suddenly ill? Prepare your family to deal with emergencies with these top safety rules that all families should know.

911

From a very early age, you should make your children aware of dialling 911 in an emergency and what constitutes and emergency. Although you may worry that a toddler will want to dial 911 randomly once they know the number, it is better that they know it than not be able to call for help if the occasion arises. This could be a life saver, especially if the child is alone at home with only one adult and that adult becomes ill or has an accident. Discuss situations they may need to dial 911, and what situations wouldn’t warrant a call to the emergency services. Sites like Simplefamilypreparedness.Com offer advice on how to prepare your children for emergency situations. Maybe have the number, clearly labelled as for emergencies only, written by the phone for younger children just in case.

Fire drill

Rehearse what your family will do in the event of a fire. Remember to tell your child that if they smell smoke when they are in their room, and the door handle is hot, not to open the door. A hot door handle suggests that the fire is on the other side of the door and opening the door could result in them being engulfed in flames. Tell members of the family that in the event of a fire they are to shout fire and to leave the house through a safe route. This may involve them having to drop from an upstairs window. Should this be the case, and the distance from the window to the ground isn’t dangerously far, explain how by hanging from the window then dropping and bending your legs and rolling on landing is safer than merely jumping from the window. If the only escape route is through the house, tell them to stay as close to the ground as possible as smoke rises.

Stop drop and roll

This simple rule could save your child’s life. Tell the whole family about the stop, drop and roll rule that they need to use if they ever find themselves on fire. An open fire, a stove, or a barbecue can all lead to a child’s clothes catching on fire. Should this happen, they should know to stop still immediately, drop to the floor and roll over continuously until the flames are extinguished. Running about in search of water to extinguish the flames will only serve to exacerbate the flames, feeding oxygen to the fire. Dropping and rolling suffocates the fire by depleting any oxygen source. By ensuring your children are familiar with this technique, it may help them if they are ever in a situation where they need to protect themselves.

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