Would your children know what to do if you required First Aid at home?

As adults we often think that it will be us calling Triple Zero (000) if there was an emergency at home, however, what if the emergency was you, would your children know what to do?

Here are some tips on how to educate your children on when and how to call Triple Zero in an emergency.

Talking to your kids about triple Zero (000)

In Australia, Triple Zero is used in all states to contact emergency services. Some questions you can ask them might include “What is an emergency?”, “Who can help us in an emergency?” “What type of equipment might we find in a Fire Truck, Ambulance or police car?” For younger children, you can talk about who are emergency workers in our community, police, firefighters, ambulance officers etc?

When to call Triple 000

Around 75% of calls to triple 000 are non-emergency calls so it’s important to build an understanding of what is an emergency. Some questions you can ask to help them determine if it’s an emergency or not include, “Is your life or someone else’s life in danger?” “Is there a serious accident or crime taking place?” “Is someone badly injured or in need of help?” You can also work through different scenarios with them as well. For example, if I scraped my knee would I call 000?” “If you couldn’t wake up mum or dad would you call 000?”

Importantly encourage them that if in doubt and there is no adult around to ask, make the phone call. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


What to do when you call Triple 000

When calling 000 the first question the operator will ask is what service do you require, Fire Police or Ambulance?

The operator will then ask for the address. Giving the correct address can save valuable time so check to see if your children can remember their full address, including suburb and phone number. In remote areas, you can also ask them to also remember the distance from landmarks and the property name. Let them know that they can trust the triple 000 operators and provide them with this information.

The operator will then ask a series of questions which typically only need a yes or no response so it’s vital to stay calm and listen to the operator. In some situations, the operator may stay on the line until emergency services arrive so tell them to not hang up until the operator tells them to.

With mobile phones continuing to replace traditional landline phones in the home you may consider practising with your child how to make an emergency call on a mobile phone. This should include how to make a call if the phone is locked. You may ever consider showing them how to use ‘Siri’ to make an emergency call.


Other helpful tips

  • Refer to triple 000 as “Zero, Zero, Zero” as they may not understand what triple means.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers including 000 next to the phone or in a common area such as on the fridge.
  • Practice! Do some scenarios and roleplay, using either yourself or perhaps their favourite stuffed toy, with them to help them learn.
  • Ask them to draw a poster of an emergency service, making sure to include Triple Zero and put it up in a prominent area.
  • Keep a First Aid kit handy and make sure they know where to find it.
  • Children as young as 14 can do a First Aid course so consider do one as a family
  • A child’s understanding can develop over time so it’s beneficial to talk and practice these activities with your kids on a regular basis.

If you would like further information and tips Fire and Rescue NSW have created a website,, specifically to help kids learn about Triple 000. Using online games and challenges, they can learn more about triple 000 and importantly what to do if there is a First Aid emergency at home.

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