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What your littles need to know when YOU have an emergency

This morning, I had a very scary experience. I was getting breakfast ready when all of a sudden my chest on the left side started hurting pretty badly. I didn’t know what to do! I started panicking. Could this be a heart attack? I’m so young! I’m 34 years old, how can this be happening to me?!

I immediately started panicking, of course. I turned around to turn the stove off and started thinking about what do. 
Do I know what to do?  What about my children
My children are only four and a half and two and a half. If I am by myself with them, they wouldn’t know what to do if I tell them that I need help, like serious help.
I started to get dizzy and almost felt like I was going to black out. I am not sure if it was part of the “episode” or because of the fact that I was panicking. 
The questions that kept popping in my mind were
Was it really a heart attack
Was it that I needed sugar in my system? 
Was this a heart attack? 
Was my sugar too low? 
Could this possibly be a heart attack?
It was the worst and the scariest feeling ever, especially when thinking that I would have to ask my four and a half year old for help and that he wouldn’t know what to do.
I started to think about dialing 911. My phone was locked because my son used to get into it and started messing with it, so I set up a passcode. He wouldn’t know how to get into it. I never taught him how to make emergency calls from it. 

Thankfully, I got a drink of water, closed my eyes and calmed down. I took deep breaths, said a prayer and the pain subsided. Whew. That was scary! I was so glad that it was over, but this 30-second ordeal most definitely gave me a wake up call.
Soon enough, I realized that it was probably a muscle spasm from the high-intensity workout that I had done the day before (chest and arms) and that I hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before. I was probably overtired and this was just a muscle spasm. It might’ve also partially been due to the fact that I had been up for a couple of hours and hadn’t had breakfast yet. I am typing this nearly 8 hours later, though, and I am fine. No side effects, no problems. Thank God.
As I evaluated everything that transpired and how I had reacted, I seriously beat myself up for not doing the one thing that is the most important thing: to pray. Why did I not recur to prayer first? That should be the first thing to do! 
I started thinking about this experience some more: 
What if it happens again and it really is serious? 
I immediately started putting a plan into action. I looked up online several websites about common 911 dispatcher questions and wrote them down. Then, I called a friend and asked her if she would be willing to be a pretend 911 dispatcher for me. I was going to teach my son how to make a 911 call and to be able to answer all the questions.
Even though he is only 4 1/2 years old, I am very happy that he can read. Having a laminated chart on our refrigerator door will be extra helpful if the time comes (hopefully this never need to be used). 

Lamination is optional, of course. This is just for durability purposes. I used a permanent marker to write the information down. Also, laminating will be useful when information changes and I can simply erase the info and write the new one in its place.

This is what my refrigerator chart looks like and this is what it contains:

0. Stay calm and PRAY.
1. Call 911.
– What is your name?
– Where are you?
Our address is:
– Who is in trouble?
– What is the problem?
– When did this happen (a long
time ago or just now?)?
2. Check that the stove is turned off.
3. If help hasn’t come yet, go to the neighbor’s house to tell    
    them about the problem.
If you are still on the phone with 911, DON’T hang up.
Dad: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Dad’s work: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
It most definitely gives me peace of mind to know that my son will now know what to do and how to ask for help in case of an emergency. 
And it also gives me peace of mind to know that I will get the help that I need in a timely manner and that my children won’t be unattended for a long time while something is happening to me.
Remember, the very first thing to do is to PRAY. Pray!

I taught K how to bypass the passcode and go into the screen where emergency calls can be made.
We talked about emergencies and what they might look like.
We discussed the chart.
We pretended like something was happening to me.
He “called” 911 (my friend) and answered all of her questions.
He then checked the stove and pretended it was on.
He ran to the neighbor’s house (who had been previously informed of our lesson) and asked for help and told her that the stove was on.
We did this twice. He passed with flying colors the second time. I feel so much better now that we are all prepared! 🙂
He wanted to use a spare chart to write down the info. He wrote “mom’s chest is hurting.” Cute. Invented Spelling at its finest!
Note: In case you didn’t catch this while reading my post, I am in no way a professional when it comes to emergencies, so don’t take this activity as the law. This is something that is of extreme importance to our family and this chart is what works for us. I am sure there will be different needs for different families.
What do you think? Have you done something like this with your children? What has worked for you? I would love to know!
Enjoy these links. Young children have saved their parents’ lives by calling 911.
Link 3: 3-year-old cracks cellphone password, saves pregnant mom
UPDATE: I am happy to say that it has been about one month since I posted this and haven’t had a problem like this again. It must’ve been, like I said, a muscle spasm from my new workout the day before. 



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