Picture this scenario: You’re at home alone with your child, a child old enough to know how to talk and communicate with other adults, when you suddenly collapse. Or you have a teenage babysitter watching your two children when she’s the one who has a violent reaction to something she accidentally ingested.
It could happen. It does happen. We see and hear about it all the time. So let’s not pretend it can’t happen in your home and confront the very real possibility head-on: In this less than ideal situation where an adult can’t make the call to emergency services, what comes next?
A life may be in your child’s hands, so it’s essential that you make sure they understand what an emergency contact list is and how they can call certain numbers on that emergency contact list. But in addition to a list of numbers, it’s also about communicating with your kids so that they can familiarize themselves with all the scenarios that can involve them reaching for the list, including constantly knowing where the list (or lists) is in the house.
An Emergency Contact List’s Main Elements:
911 – This is the easiest number to dial and remember for children so they can call in the event of an emergency. List this first for that reason.
Local Neighbor, Friend or Relative – A neighbor, friend or family member who is within only a couple minutes from your front door is what we’re talking about here. Not a sister of yours who will take 30 minutes to get there. By then, it will almost certainly be too late.
You and Your Spouse/Partner – If you’re hurt, your spouse/partner can be a familiar voice of the phone that gets the information from your child quickly.
Doctor Information – For those instances if a brother or sister isn’t feeling well.
Local Fire Department – The fire department in your town
Local Police Department – The police department in your town
Poison Control Center – 800.222.1222 is the number to know here. If you have an older child (i.e. teenager watching your younger child), they may be able to recognize when a baby or toddler has ingested something they shouldn’t. 911 is probably the safest bet but a poison control center hotline can also provide directives.
Animal Poison Control – Similarly, if an animal is clearly in a life-threatening state due to something they’ve ingested, an animal poison control hotline can help. Call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888.426.4435.
Talk to your kids and their babysitter about the finer details of these above scenarios so they know what to do and who to call. After all, adults aren’t the only ones who can save a life. Prevention and proactivity is every family member’s responsibility. So let’s make it happen. Make a list using the above elements and post it in multiple areas of the home. Your workplace likely could use it in a variety of places too!
Talk to one of our safety consultants about your emergency contact list and ensuring you’ve covered your bases when you invite us into your company as part of our CPR/AED classes. Call us today at 888.705.6100. It’s A Matter Of Life And Life.