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Paramedics Warn Parents to Teach Kids about Emergency Phone Calls in Smartphone Age

With landline phones in the home slowly becoming outdated, do children know what to do in an emergency?

With the evolution of smartphones, the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported in 2016 that 5.78 million Australians had a mobile phone, but no fixed-line phone.

Paramedics warn parents to teach kids about emergency phone calls in smartphone age

Image: article supplied

When children were once taught to dial triple-zero on the landline, the raft of security and user features on mobiles is adding complexity to teaching kids how to respond in an emergency.

“Once upon a time we used to just have home phone lines, and they’ve all got caller line identification,” NSW Ambulance Inspector Luke Wiseman said.

“Now that we’ve got mobile phones, it is a bit different, a little bit more challenging. They do have a lot of security around mobile devices.”

Apps helping provide digital literacy

Inspector Wiseman said emergency services were cognizant of the issue.

He said an app called Emergency + had been developed to help make it easier for kids when responding to an emergency using a smartphone.

“It actually gives your exact location as an address, it gives you your cross-street, and it also gives you a latitude and longitude, so if you are in rural and remote areas, we can actually get a latitude and longitude and then start planning how we make our way to the patient,” he said.

“With mobile phones, they actually do have a registered address. Normally if we do receive a phone call off a mobile phone, we will attend the address that is registered, but it may not be the actual place of where the emergency is.”

Inspector Wiseman said parents should also consider the language they use when explaining emergency procedures to children.

“Whilst it is a triple-zero call line, and that’s a lot of the way we reference it, particularly for younger children that are comprehending process, it is certainly ‘zero-zero-zero’ [language we should use],” he said.

“[Kids] watch a lot of other programs that are American-based, and they get quite confused regarding what is the appropriate number to call.

“We’ve got to be very articulate in saying it is ‘zero-zero-zero’ to call for help.”

This was originally published by ABC.net.au.

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