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Teach Your Children 911

I heard a fact recently that really surprised me. About 50% of all American homes do not have landlines. Another fact is 70% of all 911 calls are received from cell phones. Growing up, it was simple, if you had an emergency; you just dialed 0 and asked the operator for help.

My children learned to dial 911 on a landline. But with so many households without a landline how do you teach young children how to use a cell phone in case of an emergency??

Here are some things I found to be helpful:

  • Always leave your cell phone in the same place when you are at home.  On a charging station, someplace easily seen and reached.
  • Make sure your child can say their full name and address (not all cell phone have tracking on them). Make this a game, a song or a riddle to make it fun and easier to remember.

Now it gets a little more challenging. Your child must understand how to unlock the phone, find the phone symbol, get to the keyboard, dial 911 and hit send. But thankfully there’s an App for that. DialSafe Pro and Teach 911 are great Apps for teaching children to call 911 on an iPhone.

Verizon Wireless offers an interactive simulator to teach children how to dial 911 from an Android and other smartphones.

Teach your children what to do in case of different types of emergencies. Go through several different scenarios; for example, someone fell and can’t get up, a car accident, call 911. In the case of a fire, teach them to evacuate the house and go to your designated meeting spot or a neighbor’s house to call 911.

The great thing about young children, technology does not scare them, in fact, they are better with cell phones than a lot of adults. Remember the old saying “practice makes perfect“. It’s true the more repetition you can provide, the easier it will be for the child in an emergency.

We hope they never need to call 911, but knowing they can, makes us all breathe easier.

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…Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You … Matthew 7:12