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

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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. She wrote this Izzy and Ollie story to help to teach other pre-school age children what to do in an emergency and I recommend buying a copy for your childminding setting if you intend to teach the children you look after to dial 999.

izzy-and-ollyJo 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.

Since reading Izzy and Olly, which is about expecting big things of little people, I have always taught the children I look after to call 999. I keep the numbers written by the telephone and teach the children how to dial (but without actually pressing the green ‘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!


Would you like some ideas on how to promote safety and health in your childminding setting?  

be-safe-be-healthy-pack-logoFor more information on teaching safety and health topics to childminded children check out my Be Safe Be Healthy Pack with practical activities, craft projects and colouring pages. Also you can sign up for free for my quarterly Childminding Best Practice Newsletter using the orange sign up box on my website for lots more tips, quizzes and safety news affecting childminders.

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