Children can be infuriating. They can push us to the point that we want to climb the walls and not come down. But they can also be brave, kind, selfless and heroic, putting their own safety at risk for the safety of others.
Every year, all across the world, extraordinary children are honoured with awards for their bravery, proving that you really don't need to be big to make a difference.
Children can humble us. They can make us want to examine our own behaviour, look at what we can improve within ourselves and work towards becoming better people.
Would your child know what to do in an emergency? Do they know what number to call if something were to happen to you? Now, the very idea of your child being alone to face a terrifying situation probably strikes fear into your heart.
You don't want to have to tell them about the bad stuff in life just yet. You want to leave it a bit longer. At least until they can tie their own shoelaces, and know to look left and right when crossing the street.
But they're looking up to you. In your role as a parent, teaching your child how to contact emergency services - and doing it when they're young with super absorbable brains - could be the most important lesson you can teach them.
This article features fifteen youngsters who, with their quick thinking and bravery, saved lives, with some even sacrificing their own.
15 Five Year Old Rescues A Drowning Toddler
It was a blisteringly hot May day in Florida when Riley Braden aged 5 was swimming at the shallow end of a hotel pool. Also at the pool was a couple enjoying the warm weather, with their 18 month old child.
Riley continued to play in the shallow end of the pool, but had one eye on the 18 month old as it toddled to the pool edge. Moments later the child fell into the water.
Knowing that she didn't have time to shout for help, Riley, a strong swimmer dove into the water, pulling the baby up from the bottom. The parents came running, thanked Riley for saving their baby and disappeared into their hotel room.
Riley, who'd had swimming lessons since the age of 2 remained calm throughout the ordeal. Now in the first grade, Riley knows what she wants to be when she's older - a lifeguard!
14 Little Girl Saves Her Dad From A Burning House
Single dad Kenneth Riggins and his 5 year old daughter Angelica had fallen asleep on the couch in their home in the city of Tulsa when, at 2am, they were woken up by their dogs and the smell of smoke.
Kenneth shouted at Angelica to get out of the house. She'd recently learned about fire safety at a school demonstration and knew what to do.
"The smoke was everywhere, so I crawled under it and out of the house," Angelica said. "I was really scared, but I moved as fast as I could."
Angelica ran to a neighbour's house who called 911. The fire department arrived and Angelica explained that she hadn't seen her Dad leave the house. Turns out he was inside looking for Angelica's friend, forgetting she'd gone home hours earlier.
Kenneth was found unconscious and spent three weeks in the hospital recovering. He said 'if Angelica hadn't run to our neighbour's house for help, I wouldn't have made it."
13 Four Year Old Child's Persistence Saves A Life
Linsey Knerl from Tekamah was at home watching TV with her sons Micah 4, Matthias 3 and Moses 11 months. She wanted a recipe for dinner so went into the kitchen to look through a cook book.
She'd hardly been gone before her eldest son Micah came in and said 'Mom, Baby Moses needs help.'
Thinking he'd probably pushed his bottle under the sofa, Linsey said 'Okay, just a minute.' Seconds later Micah returned and insisted she come, pulling her towards the living room.
Linsey found Moses with a window-blind-cord wrapped around neck, and he didn't seem to be breathing.
She quickly removed the cord and called the pediatrician who said, after being told that Moses was crying, and taking a drink from his sippy cup, that he would be alright.
Linsey got rid of the blinds, praised Micah for his persistence, and vowed to never leave her children unattended again.
12 A Calm Little Superhero
Jailyn Emmeet of Saratoga Springs had been on the phone with her husband, who was stationed at an Army Reserve hundreds of miles away, when she felt her heart race.
Jailyn who suffers from supraventricular tachycardia, a heart-rhythm disorder, was pregnant and at home with her two children, Tregan 5 and Lincoln 15 months. Jailyn called 911 and it was the last thing she remembered.
When she woke up, paramedics explained that when she'd collapsed, Tregan took the phone and said 'My mom just died.' He also said he was 'Spider-Man' and 'Peter Parker.'
Emergency personal were sent, but to the wrong address, a few doors down. Tregan remained calm and flashed the outside lights until they found the right house. Amidst the chaos, Lincoln had toddled outside. Noticing he was gone, Tregan told the police and they found him playing with a puppy in a neighbours back yard.
11 Toddler Rescued From A Gorge In Nepal
The Seti River in Nepal makes its way from the Annapurna region of the Himalayas to the city of Pokhara. In 2008, Aradhana Pradhan, who was 2 years old at the time, fell 20 meters (60 ft) into one of the river’s gorges. Rescue workers tried to save her, but the crevice was too tight for any of them to get through.
After 22 hours in the gorge, the toddler stopped crying. It was feared she'd died. One of the rescuers, Salum Nepali was able to get 8 meters (25 feet) into the crevice, but couldn't make his way any deeper. He left the scene but returned with his 12-year-old brother Kamal Napali who was lowered into the tight fitting crevice. He kept in communication with the rescuers via walkie-talkie.
Half an hour later, Kamal was back at the surface with Aradhana in a bag slung across his back. The little girl made a full recovery and Kamal was praised as a hero.
10 Seven Year Old Walked Barefoot In The Snow To Save His Family
Tammy Hill was driving home after Thanksgiving dinner when her cell phone rang. While reaching for it, she lost control of her pickup truck. It rolled over five times, throwing Tammy out before coming to a stop.
In the back of the car were Tammy's three children aged 7, 4 and 1. Fortunately each one was fine. But they'd already changed into their pajamas, ready to slip into bed as soon as they arrived home and were unprepared for anything bad happening.
Titus, the eldest of the kids unbuckled himself, checked to see if his two sisters were ok, then took off, barefoot in the snow, to find help. He trudged for half a mile in temperatures well below freezing before he found a dairy farm.
Tammy was in a critical condition and had fractured dozens of bones. Without Titus's quick thinking, she would have most likely died.
9 Seventh Grader Rescued From Below The Ice
It was December 2009 when Victor Flores was with his friend Aiden on his Grandfather's property. Seventh grader Aiden was eager to venture onto a frozen small pond. Victor warned his friend that the ice was too thin, but Aiden ignored him and walked out onto it anyway.
The ice cracked underneath him, and Aiden fell straight into the freezing water. Victor jumped to action and tried to save his friend, but ended up falling in himself. Panicking, Aiden pushed Victor down to try and get to the surface.
Victor, however, remained calm during the ordeal and swam away from his thrashing friend. He climbed out of the water and returned with a pole which he used to help Aiden out of the water. If Victor hadn't been so quick thinking and calm in the face of danger, neither boy would have survived the ice.
8 Six Year Old Performs The Heimlich Maneuver
Six year old Elspeth "Beanie" Mar was having lunch at her school in Sacramento, when her friend Aniyah Rigmaiden started to choke on a piece of apple that had wedged itself in her throat.
Calmly, Beanie stood up from her lunch, grabbed her friend and performed the Heimlich maneuver which involved wrapping her arms around her friend's midsection, then grasping one fist in the other and pressing them into the upper abdomen.
Beanie managed to dislodge the piece of apple, which flew out of Aniyah's mouth. She then sat back down and got on with her lunch.
'She was choking and then I helped her,' Beanie said. 'I asked if I saved her life and she said, 'Yeah, you did.'
Hailed a hero, Beanie remains nonchalant about the episode, and claims to have learned the Heimlich manoeuvre from A.N.T Farm, a show on the Disney channel.
7 Three Year Old Boy Saves His Diabetic Dad
Lenny-George Jones was just like any ordinary three year old boy, running around at break neck speeds, and never listening to his mom. But his quick thinking saved his Dad's life.
When Lenny's dad Mark, who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes collapsed at his home in Manchester while his partner Emma was out on a quick errand, Lenny sprang into action.
The toddler went to the fridge and took out two Muller Crunch Corner yogurts. He then fed them to his Dad, bringing his sugar levels up and saving him from falling into a diabetic coma.
Emma returned home after 30 minutes to find Mark on the sofa looking unwell. Lenny told her 'I saved Daddy!' Neither parents had explained to Lenny what to do if something like this happened, which makes this story all the more miraculous.
6 Three Year Old Calls For An Ambulance
Single mother Samantha Throw was looking after her little girls at home, when she fell unconscious after collapsing and hitting her head. She said 'I was on the phone with my friend and I thought: I'll just go to the toilet' but that's the last thing I can remember and then I woke up in hospital.'
Her daughter Amelia called emergency services, and looked after her 15 month-old sister Evie, feeding her yogurt while Samantha was being attended to by medics.
After her own mum passed away, Samantha thought about how important it was for Amelia to know how to call emergency, in case something should happen to her.
So she showed Amelia how to do it, doubting if Amelia was actually paying attention. What she didn't know, however, was that 3 year old Amelia really was listening, and knew exactly what she needed to do in an emergency.
5 Ten Year Old Girl Gives Her Life To Save Two Others
Kiera Larsen a 10 year old girl from Lakeside USA was playing on a dirt driveway with Adision 1 and Emma 2, when a Mercedes SUV started to roll in reverse down the driveway towards them.
She managed to get the girls out of the way, but was tragically hit and sustained devastating injuries. Keira was pronounced dead later in hospital. It's suspected by investigators that a child may have been responsible for knocking the car into gear and setting it in motion.
Alissa Jenkins, the mother of Adison and Emma said 'She is truly a hero. She will forever be my kids' guardian angel.' She went on to say 'both of them could've been gone in an instant and she stepped in and took over and did what she knows best to do — and that's to protect those around her.'
4 Twin Boys Narrowly Escape Death
Kayli Shoff from Utah USA shared a terrifying video of her toddler twins Brock and Browdy narrowly escaping death after a dresser falls onto them while they're playing. The video - a stark reminder of the importance of securing furniture - went viral.
The boys climbed onto the IKEA dresser, but the weight of them both was too much and the dresser crashed over, pinning down Brock and trapping Bowdy's feet.
Bowdy managed to wriggle free, then helped his brother to escape by edging the dresser just enough.
Kayli said, "if you watch the video, I think he stops for about eight to 10 seconds and kind of analyzes the situation: My brother's crying, he's hurting, how can I help him?" She also said that she didn't hear anything out of the ordinary coming from their bedroom. Thankfully, both boys were given clean bills of health.
3 Little Boy Uses The Alphabet To Save His Dad's Life
5 year old Nathaniel Dancy Jr. was driving back with his dad from a shopping trip in New Jersey, when his father suffered a stroke and an aneurysm. Dancy Sr. was able to pull the car over and Nathaniel called his grandmother who brought the little boy's mother in on the call.
Nathaniel's grandmother and mother asked if he knew where the car was stopped. He didn't know, so the little boy searched for clues that could help his grandmother to find them. He read out the letters "F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E" from a sign on a nearby store. He also told them that they were near a tunnel.
Nathaniel's mother and grandmother were able to use this information to work out where they were and a medical team arrived in time to save Dancy Sr's life.
2 Three Year Old Saves Her Pregnant Mother's Life
After her heavily pregnant mother Catherine Bazzard fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious, 3 year old Emma from Somerset, successfully called emergency services. The call little Emma made has since been listened to thousands of time.
The toddler remained on the phone for 11 minutes, calmly answering questions which included providing her mother's name and their address. She even checked if the door was unlocked so that when the paramedics arrived they could enter.
Catherine, who'd landed on her stomach, went to the hospital and was given the drugs needed to prevent her labour from happening 7 weeks early. Thankfully the baby - a little brother for Emma - arrived safely some time after the fall. 'I think' she said 'this highlights how important it is to teach your child how to call 999 because they are never too young to put what they've learnt into practice.'
1 Mother Saved From A Dangerous Blood Clot By Her 2 Year Old
The youngest hero on this list is Riley Henry from Barrow Upon Soar in England. His mother Dana woke up with stomach pains, and later collapsed as a result of a dangerous blood clot.
Two year old Riley called emergency services and told them 'Mummy's asleep, mummy's on the floor.' After tracing the call, paramedics were dispatched to the house and the police were alerted.
Riley remained on the phone, saying hello over and over again, and trying to explain that his mum was on the floor.
When help arrived, Riley was at the door with a big smile on his face, thrilled to have a paramedic and a police officer in the house. Dana went on to have emergency surgery.
Dana and her partner Rob said that they have drilled it into Riley and his sister Caitlin, 5, that should something bad happen, they need to ring 999.