This is something I have thought about for years—the decline of the old-fashioned house phone. It has been on my mind since cell phones became the trend.
My biggest concern was what if something happens and a young child needs to use the phone to call grandma or 911 for help? They may not be old enough for a cell phone, but they are very capable of calling for help.
When my kids were little, we taught them how to dial important numbers. They learned to memorize phone numbers and dial 911.That emergency number fascinated them. My middle son got in trouble a few times for testing his new knowledge.
At that time, a house phone was standard. However, today it is not. Could the decision not to have a house phone hurt your child? Recently this thought was brought back to the forefront of my mind. A friend shared with me that her cousin became ill—too ill to walk and talk. He laid across his bed in pain with his little girl watching. He laid there for more than 48 hours while his baby girl took care of herself, trying to help her daddy.
After not hearing from her cousin for a few days, my friend went to his home. She found him in need of emergency care. His baby girl was scared but fine. As a second grader, she knows how to use the phone. She can call my friend, who is her adult cousin. She knows how to dial 911. When asked why she didn’t call for help she responded, “I tried to use my daddy’s phone but it was locked.” So she took care of herself and stayed by her daddy’s side.
Thankfully everyone is okay. However, there is a lesson to learn. If you don’t have a house phone, it’s imperative to have a plan in place that your young child can follow if an emergency comes up. Here are five thoughts to start your plan.
Telephone Emergency Plan:
1. Teach your child how to dial 911.
2. Show them how to make an emergency call on your cell phone even when they don’t know or remember your password.
3. Tape your password in a place your child can get to it.
4. Have a trusted neighbor your child can run to for help if needed.
5. Have a plan written out and posted in language your child can understand and update it often.
When making your plan consider scenarios, such as what your child will do if they cannot find your cell phone or the phone isn’t charged. If you live in an apartment and your child has to knock on a neighbor’s door for help, will your door automatically lock behind them?
Emergency situations are something we all hope to avoid. However, if a situation arises we want little people who are not yet ready for a cell phone to be able to cry out and get the help they needed.
BMWK, have you discussed emergency protocols with your young children?