When we’re teaching children how to handle an emergency, sitting them down and showing them how to use 911 is a crucial part of that. As you go through the motions, it isn’t always easy to know if the lesson is sinking in, but you hope that even young kids will remember to push those three magic numbers if they’re ever in trouble. Here are six kids who understood the theory but were a little hazy on the practice.
1. The little girl with a pants emergency
This one is making the rounds today for the sheer cuteness of it all. A South Carolina 2-year-old was having a problem we can all relate to, honestly. The little girl was having a little trouble getting both legs into the pant legs of her new jeans, so she did exactly what her parents told her to do if she ever needed help right away and called 911. The deputy who responded to the call took it in good humor and called the hug the toddler gave her after the pants emergency was thankfully dealt with the “best part of my shift today.”
2. The little boy who was just doing what his mother told him to
You’ll probably recognize this little guy, who for some reason had subtraction homework at the tender age of 4. He enlisted the help of a dispatcher to help him solve his “takeaways,” much to the chagrin of his mother. In his own defense, she did tell him to “call a grown-up” if he needed help. He just took it very literally. Why he had subtraction problems in preschool will just have to remain a mystery.
3. The little girl who just needed to tell someone about her Disney On Ice experience
Four-year-old LaNae was riding high after her trip to Disney On Ice to see The Lion King enacted on figure skates. She wanted to talk to someone about it and likely just knew of one phone number to call. The dispatcher was not pleased and gave both LaNae and her parents a stern talking-to about the proper use of the emergency dispatch line.
4. The 5-year-old who was a little nervous about going to the dentist
Hey, sometimes the thought of an impending dentist visit can feel like a legitimate emergency. In the case of one Wisconsin 5-year-old, it certainly did. The little girl wasn’t sure what the dentist was going to do, so she called the line in a panic, unbeknownst to her embarrassed mother. When the dispatcher called back, though, she assured Mom that, at the very least, the little girl answered questions calmly, and wished them well at the dentist’s office.
5. These siblings who needed to get a hold of Santa, stat
An upstate New York set of 4- and 6-year-old siblings ditched the traditional letter-writing plan and called up the police station with a request to talk to either the Man in Red or the police chief, whoever was available, though they weren’t clear on what they needed from the two. In this case, the police weren’t pleased one bit and gave the whole family a good talking-to about keeping the line open for emergencies.
6. This concerned girl whose Elf fell from the Shelf
Need a reason to skip the whole Elf on the Shelf thing next Christmas? Take poor 7-year-old Isabelle in New Jersey, whose elf took a tumble and ignited a panic in the little girl, who thought Santa might not come to her house after all. Sometime between making the call and having the police show up to her door, she must have thought better of it: Isabelle’s mother walked in on the little girl shushing the first responder and trying to escort him away from the home with assurances that everything would be fine.
Just to be safe, though, when the fire department did its annual Santa Claus on a Firetruck traditional parade, it made sure to stop at Isabelle’s house first and let her know that Santa would definitely still be stopping by.
While what toddlers or little kids consider “emergencies” can be cute, it’s important to remember that calling 911 is very serious and should only be done in true emergency situations. The dispatchers who came to these families’ homes to talk to the parents and kids about using a more stringent definition for “emergency” weren’t there for fun. Anytime someone calls 911, first responders are required to show up at the point of the call’s origin.
It’s worth it to remind your kids that when they come to your door, that means they can’t be at the home of someone who really needs their help.
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