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Important Phone Numbers and Hotlines

Safety and Emergency Information


Updated March 20, 2012

In an emergency, every second can count when you are trying to get a child help. That makes it important that if the time comes when your kids need help, you don't waste time looking for phone numbers or calling the wrong person. Keep this list of important phone numbers handy so you are prepared for emergencies.

Poison Control Hotline: 1-800-222-1222

The Poison Help Hotline can help you with any poisoning emergencies.
Photo Courtesy of U.S. HHS HRSA

In most cases, if your child is poisoned, you should just call Poison Control right away using the toll-free nationwide number -- 1-800-222-1222.

You should not wait for your child to have symptoms, even if you aren't positive if your child actually swallowed any of the poison, or if you aren't sure if it really is poisonous. And don't call your pediatrician first to ask if you should call Poison Control. If your child had contact with something that could be poisonous, your best bet is to just call Poison Control. And remember that a poison can be almost anything, including over-the-counter medicines, mouthwash, drain cleaner, some household plants, and even some spider bites.

Your Pediatrician:

A crying baby with colic often prompts a call to the pediatrician.
Photo: Stockbyte / Getty Images

Parents of a young children, especially first-time parents, are sometimes tempted to call their pediatrician for every single gas pain, loose stool, or rash. However, even if you have a very supportive pediatrician, you should try to learn how to recognize when a symptom is due to a serious medical problem and when something is normal.

Of course, when in doubt, trust your instincts and call your pediatrician or seek medical attention when your baby has a symptom or problem that you are concerned about. And for some things -- such as a seizure, fall with loss of consciousness, or severe allergic reaction -- you should immediately call 911 and notify your pediatrician only after your baby has received emergency medical attention.

Your Pediatric Dentist:

A pediatric dentist can be a great resource to keep your child's teeth clean and healthy.
Photo by Lajos Répási

Sure, you will have plenty of time to call for your child's first visit to the dentist or when he has a simple toothache, but what about if your child falls and knocks out a tooth?

If that happens, you will be relieved to have your pediatric dentist's phone number handy so that you can call for some quick advice.

Emergency Contacts:

Be prepared so that you don't have to hit the panic button in an emergency.
Photo by Mark Evans

In an emergency, whether you need to go to the hospital or need someone to pick up your kids at school in a hurry, who are you going to call? Having some phone numbers of people who you can contact and can be sure will be ready to help can make emergency situations less stressful -- both for you and your kids:

  • Emergency Contact:
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  • Emergency Contact:
  • Emergency Contact:

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

Victims of sexual assault can all the National Sexual Assault Hotline -- 1-800-656-HOPE.
Photo Courtesy of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
The National Sexual Assault Hotline -- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) -- is a network of crisis centers that are run by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. They provide anonymous and confidential support to victims of sexual assault, which affects 1 out of every 6 American women, of which 44% are under age 18.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Photo Courtesy of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) -- is available to anyone who feels 'sad, hopeless, or suicidal' and to family and friends who are trying to help someone who is having those feelings.

As suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens, it is important that they know that they always have someone to call if they need help.

Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000

The Boys Town National Hotline -- 1-800-448-3000 -- has trained counselors that provide crisis intervention for suicidal teens, depression, abuse, school problems, and many other issues. In addition to teens who need help, parents can also call when they need help with their child or to get a referral for more help in their area.

National Runaway Switchboard: 1-800-RUNAWAY

The National Runaway Switchboard provides a crisis hotline for teens who have runaway and need help.
Photo Courtesy of the National Runaway Switchboard
The National Runaway Switchboard -- 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) -- provides a crisis hotline for teens who have runaway and need help.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST

Call 1-800-THE-LOST if your child is missing or if you have seen a missing child.
Photo Courtesy of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides a hotline -- 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678) -- where you can report sighting a missing child, cases of child sexual exploitation, or to report your own missing child (after you have called local law enforcement).

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

Help raise awareness about the National Child Abuse Hotline.
Photo: Marty Melville / Getty Images
The National Child Abuse Hotline is dedicated to preventing child abuse and takes calls from at risk children, parents who think that they might hurt their children, and people who think that a child is being abused.

National Battery Ingestion Hotline: 1-202-625-333

Operated by the National Capital Poison Center, the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (1-202-625-3333) provides expert assistance for battery ingestion cases.

Swallowing a button battery can lead to life-threatening complications if the latest treatment guidelines aren't followed, which makes calling the National Battery Ingestion Hotline an especially good idea if you think your child has swallowed a button battery.

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