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Teaching children to call 999 for an ambulance could literally save your life

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Updated 22/09/2022

Author Jo Keeling’s daughter, Isabelle, known as Izzy, was two when she managed to call an ambulance for her mother following a severe allergic reaction, otherwise known as anaphylactic shock. In the days that followed, Isabelle’s story reached the national newspapers as well as the national and local news.

izzy-and-olly

Jo writes, “I wholeheartedly believe that children are so capable. I have received many emails from parents saying that their child had learnt to call 999 after the parent had read info from our website, or read the book and had put it into practice helping that parent in an emergency.  It does work!  Children are amazing.  It must be a terrifying experience for a child to watch a parent suffer or be unconscious and not know what to do.  At least if they have had previous instruction they won’t panic as much and can try and do something to help.”

Some practical information about how to teach children to dial 999 is located on the Izzy and Ollie website.

It is important to teach the children you look after how to call 999 in an emergency. You can keep the numbers on display written by the telephone and teach the children how to dial (but without actually pressing the ‘dial’ button). From about age three or four many children may be perfectly capable of doing this in an emergency.

As childminders, we work alone. This is a great investment of your time – it could literally save your life!


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