When to Call an Ambulance
These pages are only a guideline for emergency care. Please follow directions given by your healthcare provider or the 911 operator. Be prepared before an emergency occurs by doing the following.
- Take the time to learn what to do in the case of an emergency
- Attend a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course (CPR course)
- Attend a first-aid course
- For information about CPR and first-aid courses, contact your local healthcare provider
When to Call an Ambulance for a Child
Call an ambulance for a child if they experience the following:
- Not breathing and is lifeless: Begin CPR for one minute before calling 911 or your emergency number
- Difficulty breathing
- Unconscious child
- Change in mental status
- Unusual behavior
- Difficulty waking up
- Seizures longer than five minutes
- Sudden severe pain
- Major injuries
- Suspected spinal or neck injury
- Severe burns
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Poisonings: Call when advised by the Poison Control Center or a local healthcare provider.
What to Know When Calling for Help
Remember to call 911 only in a real emergency. The use of this number for a nonemergency may cause a delay in help for someone whose life may be in danger.
When you call, speak clearly, slowly and calmly.
Information that you need to provide:
- Your name
- Phone number
- Location of ill/injured child
- Number of ill/injured child/children
Be sure the dispatcher has the correct address. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to; they may need additional information or be able to give you instructions.
What to Do Until Help Arrives
- Do not leave an ill/injured child alone once the call has been made.
- Do not move an injured child unless they are in danger.
- Do not remove any embedded objects from a wound.
- Do not give the child anything to eat or drink.
- Keep the child as warm and comfortable as possible.
- If not breathing or stops breathing, administer CPR.
- If bleeding, apply direct pressure with a clean cloth.
- If burned, cover with clean cloth. Do not put ice, butter, cream or ointment on the burn. Do not break blisters.
- If seizing, clear the area and allow the seizure to occur. Do not put anything in the child's mouth.
- Remain calm and help the child remain calm.
If another person is available, have them meet the ambulance and show the way to the child.