Kids Who Were Heroes Before Kindergarten

Kids are special in so many ways. They have a fresh outlook on life, seeing it with new eyes, and they teach us a lot about ourselves. But what happens when a child does something so amazing, so out of the ordinary, that they earn the distinction of "hero"? Some kids seem to be hardwired to do good, and it's amazing that even a small child can realize what to do to step up when they're in a life-threatening situation. Check out these kids who were heroes before (or while in) kindergarten.

Riley Braden

At the tender age of five, Riley Braden was swimming in the pool at the Summerplace Inn in Destin, Florida, when she saw a baby in the pool. The 18-month old had been sitting on the pool steps in an inner tube when she slipped out and started sinking to the bottom of the pool. Riley was the first to notice, and she promptly dove under to rescue the child. 

Luckily, Riley had been taking swimming lessons from the age of two, and her swim coach has said that she is a very strong swimmer. In addition, her parents are former search-and rescue divers, so the swimmer genes, as well as the hero ones, are innate in Riley. The pint-sized rescuer went on to receive a lifesaving award after she turned six, and was commended by the Mayor of Destin among others. 

Ethan Ribeiro

Ethan Ribiero of Perth, Australia, was just 4 years old when his father had a seizure that rendered him unconscious and bleeding. His mom taught him to call 000 (Australia's version of 911) when he was three, so that Ethan would know to call in the case of fire or other emergency. It's a good thing she did, because on the day of the seizure, Ethan was home alone with his dad. He called 000 and stayed on the phone with the operator for 20 minutes, during which time he was instructed to turn his father on his side and to lift his chin to clear his airway. 

The kiddo later said he was "only a little scared," and the emergency responders brought him a plaque and teddy bear to reward him for his bravery. His dad was fine, and both parents were very proud of their resourceful little tyke. Once he got to kindergarten, Ethan made a speech in front of his class to teach the other kids how to dial 000 in case of an emergency. 

Bentley Toone

An Arizona mom was saved by her 2-year-old son, Bentley, after a terrible dog bite that almost took her finger off. Laura Toone was walking her own dog and a foster dog when a fight broke out. Laura put her hand between the dogs and was bitten, and understandably hysterical. As were her four-year-old twin daughters, so Laura was obviously panicked wondering how she was going to get help. Up walks Bentley with a dish towel, and at that time his mom said she knew her youngest was going to help. 

Bentley cleaned off his mom's phone and Facetimed her best friend. With mom and sisters screaming in the background, the friend talked to Bentley and understood what happened. She called an ambulance, and rescue workers were able to save Laura's finger. Bentley, of course, is a hero.

Lexi Shymanski

Five-year-old Lexi Shymanski saved the lives of her mother and her infant brother one fateful day when her mom fell asleep at the wheel of the family SUV. They were driving in Jasper, Canada, which has some pretty steep embankments, and the vehicle strayed off to the side of the road and crashed into a tree. Lexi's mom, Angela, had broken her back in two places. Lexi's little brother, Peter, was bleeding on the brain. Lexi knew she had to do something.

She got herself out of her car seat, exited the vehicle, hiked up the steep embankment barefoot and flagged down a car. Since the car couldn't been seen from the road, it's possible that Angela and the baby would have died if Lexi had not gone for help. The kicker? Lexi didn't have shoes on, so she hiked up the rocky embankment barefoot. Angela said that the rescue workers needed ropes to get up and down the steep hill, and Lexi did it all on her own, without shoes. Supergirl!

Cody McNeese

It was chilly on the evening in Wills Point, Texas. There was a heater in Cody McNeese's and his brother Dustin's room. Cody, 5 years old at the time, and Dustin, 3, were sleeping when fire woke Cody. He left the room (the ceiling was already on fire) to find his mother, but was too worried about his little brother, so he doubled back to get the younger boy out. 

He managed to get his brother out of the room, and they met their mom in the hallway. Everyone in the home was safe when firefighters arrived around 11pm, but the boys had burns and smoke inhalation. They received treatment at a local hospital and were released within the week. Cody was hailed a hero, and he and his little brother recovered completely. 

Alesaundra Tafoya

Alesaundra Tafoya must have paid attention when her parents pointed out the fire station in their neighborhood as a safe place. When she was just 3 years old, her father collapsed at home, presumably because of a misjudgment in medication doses. Alesaundra promptly walked out of her home and the two blocks to the fire station, where she told firefighters that her dad had collapsed and led them back to her home.

The medication combination could have been fatal had it not been for the tot's quick thinking. And, because she was taught to see firefighters as friends in a time of need, she knew right where to go. It's amazing that such a small child could think that quickly, but she did and she saved her dad's life. 

Bowdy Shoff

There's something to be said for putting a camera in the baby's room. Especially if you have precocious twin boys that like to play before the rest of the family wakes up. Twin 2-year-old brothers Brock and Bowdy Shoff were playing one morning, climbing on the dresser in their bedroom. The dresser tipped over, pinning Brock underneath. His mother commented that it was odd that nobody heard anything unusual — she always hears when they cry and the family even had people staying with them who were right above the twins' room. Luckily, Bowdy assessed the situation and pushed the dresser off of his brother. Both boys were unharmed.

The dresser, today, is bolted to the wall like the instructions stated, and their mom says they've even put latches on the bottom drawers. Just in case. Understandable, really, when you think of what could have happened. 

Celebrate heroes of all ages

Even little tiny kids know when someone is in trouble. It's amazing that these young heroes had the presence of mind to help out in these sometimes life-threatening circumstances. Surely their brave actions are setting them up for a lifetime of good decision-making, thinking on their feet and helping people in need.