Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Safety Measures: 911 and Other Important Information They Need to Know

This weekend as we were welling up with pride while watching our daughter perform her VBS songs with the other 398 children who went through our church's VBS week, another mother was experiencing the heartache that no parent should ever feel.

Sadly, it is in hearing reports like this that we evaluate the safety measures we have for our own children. Do we have safety measures? What are they? Do our children even know what they are?

Many times we have well planned safety measures and plans for our children but we become too busy with everything else to actually go over them with our children.

This week, we are going to be discussing safety methods to work on with our children, and hopefully we can make a conscious effort to spend a little time each day this week talking with our children about them and practicing them. 

Before we talk about anything, let's remember that as parents, our first line of defense for our children is prayer. We need to cover them in prayer because no one can protect them as well as God can. The Word of God tells us that He will encamp His angels around us to protect and defend us (Psalm 91:11 & 34:7) and that the angels for our children have complete access to the Father (Matthew 18:10). 

Today we are going to discuss some important information that our children need to learn early and need to practice often.

911 is a simple number that is easy to learn and easy to push on a phone.

During our designated school time, Addie and I would practice reciting a whole host of information and we would also practice dialing 911 on each of the phones in the house. It was important to me that Addie could find a way to reach the phones even if they were out of reach. She learned how to move a dining room chair to the kitchen, climb up to reach the phone in its holster above the counter and dial the number. We never actually hit "dial", but she would pretend to in order to demonstrate that she knew which button to push to complete the call.

Also important for our children to know is their full name (how to spell it if they are old enough), address, and phone number to at least one parent's phone. In our family, we chose to have Addie learn our Google phone number instead of each individual number. The Google number will simultaneously ring all of the phone numbers we have listed under that one number. 

Small children, like Ian, cannot do any of the above. Yet we do not need to leave them helpless with no way to help themselves in case of emergency. There are many ways to give these little ones the information they need in order for them to be helped in case of an emergency,

1. Write the phone number on their hand. This past week during our VBS, a little boy came to our church for the very first time. His family didn't know anyone, and although his contact information was filed in our church's office, his mother wanted to make sure that we had easy access to it as soon as we needed it. She decided to write her phone number right on his hand in pen. It is easily washable when the need for it is over, but it is in the perfect spot for quick calling if necessary.
 
2. Have an information bracelet made. This is an easy-to-make bracelet made with beads so that your child's emergency contact number can easily be found without them needing to have it memorized.
 
3. The information label. This is the perfect idea for any parent with small children. God forbid, in the case of an accident, and you are unable to give helpful information to emergency workers, there is still a way for them to be able to help your children. Be sure to include your child's full name, their birthday, your name and phone number, your husband's information, and the information of one or two other emergency contacts, and any allergies that your child may have. This is something that you will want to put in a place in your vehicle that can be seen by those who need to see it, but not visible to the rest of the world.

God has given us these gifts (Psalm 127:3) and it is our responsibility to care for and protect them to the best of our ability.

For more posts related to children's safety, check the following posts:
1. Drill, Baby, Drill

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