The world today is technology driven. In 2014, landlines have become obsolete, and most parents and children have cell phones. It is very important to teach children how to dial 911.
Here are tips to get your child ready to call 911:
- Teach your child his address and the phone number from which he is calling. If you own a TRAC phone, the phone number will not display when calling 911. Location is the most important piece of information needed by a 911 operator.
- Make sure your child knows his first and last name. It is also extremely helpful if a child knows how to spell his name.
- Make sure your child knows that you have a name other than "Mom" and "Dad". Teach him your first and last names.
- Make sure that your child knows where you are at all times. It’s helpful if he knows the name of your workplace in case police need to find you during working hours.
- Don’t be afraid to practice. 911 operators are ok with kids calling 911 to practice. If you choose to practice, it is important that you stay on the phone and tell the 911 operator that you do NOT have an emergency, and that you are just practicing with your child.
- Did you know that many old deactivated cell phones are still capable of calling 911 even though there is no current plan? Teach your child that if he accidently dials 911, to stay on the line and tell the operator that it was a mistake.
- If your phone has a passcode on it, make sure that your child knows what it is, or that 911 can be called without entering the passcode.
- It is never too early to teach children to know their surroundings. For younger children, while you are in the car, ask them to tell you what they see out the window. For older children, practice reading street signs and teach them their directions (north, south, east, and west).