Monday, January 5, 2009

911 Needs a Boost

We hammer the numbers 9-1-1 into our children's brains from an early age. Parents, teachers, firemen, police officers, librarians, babysitters. They hear those fateful digits, sometimes couched in fear, sometimes in bravery, sometimes in service. We read hot topic stories about first graders saving their mom from choking on a Cheeto. We see Matt and Meredith interview preschoolers who called the authorities to report a burglar creeping in through the attic window. At my house we even have a sticker on the cordless phone with a picture of an ambulance, firetruck, police car, and giant yellow numbers, 9-1-1.

So in the event that I should fall and not get up, God help me, don't tempt the Fates here, my children will punch the numbers 9-1-1 into the phone.

And I will still lay there motionless. Likely whimpering.


Because simply hitting the 9, 1, and 1 keys on a phone get you nowhere in a hurry. Phones have changed from back in the day. What hasn't changed is how we teach our kids to make a call in an emergency. Teaching our children to call 9-1-1 is no longer adequate, and in fact, could be dangerous. In an emergency, seconds matter. I've been there and can speak from experience.

We need to revamp our old school ways and start teaching kids to dial 9-1-1 TALK. Or the green button. Or whatever key on your phone enables a call. We are failing our kids, and potentially ourselves, by omitting this very key step.

I'm a mom and I'm a marketer. There's nothing I'd like more than to start a campaign to teach kids to dial 9-1-1 TALK. I see a logo in my future. And perhaps an interview with Matt and Meredith.

Cross posted at Deep South Moms.

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Melanie Sheridan said...

You are absolutely right and this is something I didn't think about. I'm not sure my son knows how to dial the house phone or my cell. Thank you for giving me something to think about!

3boys247 said...

You are so right! I just had the 911 conversation with the 4 1/2 year old yesterday. I didn't even think about adding the talk button.

Thanks for the reminder.

Gretchen said...

Consider my lesson plans in October 2009 permanently altered!!

Angel said...

Ok, now I'm starting to get paranoid? Are you living in my head?

I JUST started teaching my kids the 9-1-1 thing and how and when to do it. Only we just use our cell phones! So I have to tell them to hit 9-1-1 and then the GREEN button. I feel like they aren't going to understand or figure it out in a real emergency. I'm worried and not sure what to do! Then, I see your post and realize I'm not the only one thinking this.. right now. Scary:)

Donald said...

True... my 5 year old went through safety, fire, etc. lessons in school a couple of months back. We talked before about 911 and then after. We too realized... wait... you have to push the TALK (green) button. Times "have" changed. Good idea to get the word out.