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WedMay 21

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC) – May 21, 2025

Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day is celebrated on the Wednesday of every annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, which occurs mid-May. This year, it will be celebrated on May 21. National EMS Week in the U.S. helps us recognize and appreciate the contributions of all emergency medical workers and service providers. We have tips on how you can get involved, spread awareness, and also celebrate these unsung heroes.

History of Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC)

The first National Emergency Medical Services Week was declared on November 3–10, 1974, by President Gerald Ford, with Wednesday of that week being the first EMSC Day. It was only in 2007 that the month was changed to May. The purpose was to highlight the need for high-quality and specialized emergency medical care for children, with a focus also on the challenges that medical personnel might face. EMSC Day is also meant to raise awareness about the need for more such services and trained professionals. These services extend to children who may be in “acute care settings” or in need of hospitalization, and even psychological/mental-health needs. 

It began when the Korean and Vietnam wars got people thinking about how chances of survival for injured people were greater with on-site aid being administered first.  So in the 1960s medical communities began to recognize the need for developing a proper system for emergency medical services (EMS). Once the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act of 1973 was passed by Congress, it was observed that many adult patients had improved outcomes, but not children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was asked to specially develop a program that could help aid children and cater to their unique needs. Once federal funds were deployed in the form of grants to all states, an EMS system for children emerged, designed to help children and adolescents receive appropriate care in medical emergencies. 

Every year, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) partners with organizations like the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) to announce the dates and the theme for EMS Week. This year’s theme is  “Caring for Our Communities” and an annual event usually takes place at the Children’s National Medical Center inWashington, D.C. to celebrate the day. 

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC) timeline

EMS System Formulated

War experiences show people the need for on-site medical training systems.

EMS Act Passed

The U.S. Congress passes the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act of 1973 to fund EMS systems.

First National EMS Week

President Gerald Ford declares November 3–10 as the first National Emergency Medical Services Week.

Congress Approves Funding

The EMSC program provides grants to all states, which are used to help children and adolescents.

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC) FAQs

What are the three types of EMS services?

The first is a service that can respond with or without transport. The second type responds with equipped transport. The third type of EMS service has a  “Specialty Care Transport,” which transports those in emergency situations between different emergency healthcare facilities

What is the difference between EMT and EMS?

EMS usually means the entire network of emergency medical service personnel who are involved in providing a swift response to medical emergencies. EMT stands for an emergency medical technician, who is a part of the entire network. An EMT’s job is to be the first one on the scene, in response to an SOS call.

When did EMS begin?

Emergency Medical Services began as a concept from the time of Napoleon Bonaparte (1700s);  where the basic principles of tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield became a precursor to the formulation of modern-day EMS measures.

How to Observe Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC)

  1. Spread awareness

    Visit the official EMSC website and check out the resources provided. Get people curious by wearing a ‘Benny the Bearamedic’ T-shirt and post your selfie on your social media. You can use the hashtag #EMSDayForChildren to spread awareness about the need for EMS for children.

  2. Participate in community events

    Many local schools and health-related organizations get together to participate in raising awareness about the need for pediatric emergency medical care. You can join a group like this or spearhead a promotional campaign of your own. Make it creative and fun, just like you would do to attract the attention of children.

  3. Take federal advocacy action

    You can help urge your governing bodies to support the EMSC Program by visiting the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website and clicking on "Fully Fund the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program" in the Advocacy Action Center.

5 Facts About The State Of EMSC That Will Make You Sit Up

  1. Lack of child-sized equipment

    Children are still not taken into account when it comes to the production of medical equipment.

  2. Overburdened healthcare workers

    Many busy emergency centers can sometimes prescribe the wrong dosage to children due to overwork.

  3. It’s a social issue

    Many children are from marginalized communities with no access to emergency services.

  4. Emergency departments need assessing

    A new project is being developed to assess the readiness of emergency departments all over.

  5. Families need training

    Since parents are often the first ones on-site, families need training in some basic practices and measures.

Why Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC) is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    Many communities in the U.S. are beginning to recognize the need to join in on raising awareness about the need for specialized emergency care for children. They do it through community outreach, online petitions and advocacy, media channels, and organizing events like fundraisers. It’s easier than ever before to be a part of the movement, thanks to the internet.

  2. It shows appreciation

    EMSC Day is a great opportunity for us to show our appreciation for the medical personnel who reach out to children in emergencies. We can honor them by also sharing a proclamation for increased EMS awareness with the appropriate authorities. Many such templates are available online.

  3. It helps meet medical goals

    The ultimate goal of EMSC Day is to ensure that all emergency departments and medical service providers are sufficiently prepared to care for children’s medical needs, both in and outside of hospitals. The National Pediatric Readi­ness Project (Peds Ready) is a quality improvement initiative that aims to achieve this goal.

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day (EMSC) dates

2021May 19Wednesday
2022May 18Wednesday
2023May 24Wednesday
2024May 22Wednesday
2025May 21Wednesday

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