Toby the Teddy’s Fundamental Purpose

Children have indeed been identified as a vulnerable population and one of the most at risk groups of people for not being able to call for help when required. With extensive market research, we were able to identify a gap in children’s literature and teaching resources – namely the unavailability of any literary material that would help facilitate the conversation between children and their parents/teachers as to when and how to call 000. Although 000 permits contact with multiple emergency services, our book is centred on the ambulance service.

Research has found that this topic of conversation is often omitted from early childhood education due to fear of frightening the child or children. I imagine it would be rather difficult to sit a child down and say, "if Mummy fell over and wasn’t waking up what would you do?" If the concept of 000 were approached in such a way, the resulting conversation would be rather disjointed and appear to have come out of the blue – and this is why I was surprised to have found nothing currently on the market that would assist parents in teaching their children such an important lesson.

Is This An Emergency? Ambulance aims to overcome barriers that prevent children calling 000 and increase the number of kids effectively able to do so. This book subliminally educates kindergarten and primary school aged children as to when and how to call for an ambulance by providing a non-threatening way to facilitate such a discussion between children and their parents or teachers. Toby the Teddy, the star of this book, is faced with a variety of fun, engaging and child friendly scenarios that question the child’s perception of an emergency. When any one of the six scenarios is deemed not an emergency and therefore cited as not requiring an ambulance, a realistic solution is provided. Furthermore, this picture book works to familiarise children with what will be asked of them when speaking with a Triple Zero Call-Taker. Notes for Parents and Teachers located at the back of the book, contains additional suggestions and information that will help to continue dialogue on this topic with your child or class. 

Children can indeed waste resources when inappropriately calling 000 however they most certainly have the capacity to save lives. Thus it is imperative that parents and teachers stress to their children the importance of knowing when and how to call for an ambulance – but most importantly in a way that is non-threatening, engaging and age appropriate.


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