Emergency Plans for toddlers

rob333November 27, 2002

I just thought I would post a reminder to tell you it its never too early to begin teaching emergency procedures to your sweetheart.

This idea came about when my two year old nephew decided he would head across the backyard and a subsequent corn field to the other side of the road, gasp! The people who found him asked him if he knew his name and where he lived. God bless his parents for teaching him, he did. I thought to myself, will my son be able to do that when he's two in another six months? So I started teaching him his full name, his parents full name and his address. We are still working on the phone number.

I also realized telling him never to talk to strangers was unreasonable. So we walked around I showed him which strangers are "good" and which ones are "bad" (to the best we can guess in this tricky world) based on different factors I feel comfortable with. He can pick them out of a crowd now. And we're working on telling someone no-no, then find an appropriate grown up, if a person wants to give him something or take him somewhere, that is a tough one for him to get and still too young to understand, but I am going to keep asking until he gets it.

We also have "fun" fire drills.

Repetition my dear friends, but make it fun and tell them why you are doing it. Kids are smart, but they have to have the information in order to use it. Be safe and happy!


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Another tip is to teach them that Grownups don't ask for help from Kids. They ask from other Grownups.

This advice came about after the last spell of child abductions, and how many abductors are successful with the "come help me find my lost puppy" ploy. That one is irresistible and I think even I would have fallen for it, as old as 10, due to my love for animals.

Also, when discussing strangers, make sure they understand what a "stranger" is.

It is a good idea to call your local fire station to see if they have programs for kids. Our local station comes to the school, and teaches kids "stop drop and roll", and shows them what a fireman looks like completely in gear, and tells them if a fireman comes to rescue them, don't be scared of them.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2002 at 7:23PM
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A couple other points - teach the phone number *with area code*. If, God forbid, your child is abducted, knowing just the phone number may not be enough.

I have also read in several publications to teach your child that if s/he becomes lost and cannot see a police officer nearby, to look for a woman - with kids, if possible - and ask for help.

Finally, it's never too soon to teach your child a "code word". Teach them that if someone wants the the child to go with them or wants to give them something and doesn't say the code word, to run away. This helps in cases where a potential abductor says, "Your mom asked me to pick you up from school" and is also helpful if you want to send a friend to pick up the kids.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2002 at 6:49AM
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TREKaren, I had forgotten about the hiding thing and it is a good point. I hadn't thought about the entire gear thing before, I guess I will have to come up with a way for him to see that soon.

joann23456, my DH thought it was silly to have to do that, as though he would only be lost in our hometown (even though we work 30+ miles from it and we're NEVER there)! Good point too, and I agree. I like the code word thing and I am going to incorporate that too.

Thanks for building on my idea, it has helped me.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2002 at 10:29AM
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