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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Emergency Phone List

Emergency Phone List

Many parents teach their older children how to dial 911 in an emergency, and they definitely supply their older kids with an emergency phone number list if they are going to be alone, but not many parents think about the importance of such a list for younger children.

While you would never leave your five year old home alone, or expect your three year old to read through the directory in order to call grandma, it is very important that you plan for a crisis and make it possible for your young children to call for help.

Imagine what would happen if you fell or became unconscious while home alone with your toddler. Would they know what to do? Would they be able to call for help? The answer is probably no. That is why making a kid friendly emergency phone list is so important.

Depending on the age of your child or children, there are many ways in which you can make the list very easy for them to use.

For very young children, it is best to purchase a big button phone that is equipped with speed dial. To make this phone work, you will first need to program a few numbers into the speed dial setting. Include numbers to the police, to your neighbor and to the relative living closest to you. After you have programmed their numbers to a certain key, use a camera to take a picture of the person that the number belongs to. For the police, you can cut a picture out of a magazine. Once you have the pictures, glue them to the button that corresponds with their speed dial number. Then all you will have to do is explain the pictures to your children and instruct them to pick up the phone and punch the picture of the police or of grandma if they ever need help. Let them practice a few times by calling grandma or the neighbor, but never the police. To prevent your child from playing with the phone, stress the importance of the system for an emergency only. It is also a good idea to place the phone that you have programmed in your room or in another out of the way place. Just make sure that it is still accessible to your child during an emergency.

Making an emergency phone number list for five to seven year olds is a little easier. For this age group, it is best to make a laminated card that hangs by the phone. On this card include the same pictures but print the entire phone number in large type next to the appropriate picture. Practice with the card and the phone by having your child call their grandparents or neighbor. Again, it is important to talk to your child about when it is appropriate to use the list and the phone.

To make an emergency phone number list for older children, you can use the same card and pictures that you used when they were younger, or you can make a bigger list that includes a wider range of options since they may be using the phone for other situations that are not quite emergency. If you choose to make a bigger list, it is a good idea to use a red ink or font for all emergency numbers and to print or type these in a larger size to set them off from the rest of the list. You may even want to include pictures for the main emergency numbers, such as the police, because even though the children are older, they may still panic in a scary situation and forget how to recognize the numbers on the list.

Although the occasion may never arise where your four year old needs to dial 911, it is very important that they have the knowledge and skills to do so if it is needed. By making an easy to use list and teaching them how and when to use it, you can make sure that they are prepared to handle any emergency that comes up.


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