Does your child know her phone number? What if she gets lost? How will he be able to tell an adult where he lives, or how to contact his parents? A child becoming lost is something none of us ever hope to have to deal with, but it does happen. Your child should be prepared.
If your child is 3 or older, you can teach them their phone number. This is the quickest way for someone to get a hold of you and let you know where your precious child is. Once they get to kindergarten they will practice learning their phone numbers but only the 7 digit number, not the area code. What if you’re on vacation someplace? That adult that finds your child is going to need to know the area code. For us we live in a different area code than our phone number has, so for school my daughter would have to learn the area code for her phone number too otherwise people would assume it is the one for our area and would not be able to get a hold of me.
The easiest way to teach your child their phone number is to repeat it to them several times. Have them try to tell it to you. If they stop, give them the number they’re looking for.
Break it down into groups like it is written, ex 555-123-4567, teach them the area code first, i.e. 555. Once they have that down, go on to the prefix, i.e. 123. Then ask them to say both the area code and the prefix together. When they have that down, add in the last 4 digits, i.e. 4567.
Have them recite their phone number to you every day. On your way to go shopping while you’re in the car is a great time, that way it’s fresh in their heads if they should happen to get separated from you. Or if you don’t go anywhere that day, just have them recite it to you at the dinner table or right before bedtime.
Have your friends and family quiz your child. Have them ask what your phone number is and then have them ask the child what THEIR phone number is. Asking for the phone number using different context such as “your parent’s”, “your home”, and “your phone number” is great ways to get your child to understand that they are asking for the phone number you have taught your child to recite, because you never know how someone else would ask your child for that number.
Let your child play with a pretend phone or an old cell phone that no longer has service to it (take the battery out, because even though there is no service, if it has power it will/could call 911 still). Have them practice locating the numbers in their phone number on the phone. Once they know where all the numbers in their phone number is on the keypad. Give them someone’s cell phone to practice actually calling their number and having you answer the phone and ask them questions like “is there an adult there?”, “where are you?”, etc.
Knowing their phone number is very important. They can give that piece of information to anyone and they will be able to get a hold of you quickly. If it is a home phone you have them remember, then make sure you forward your home phone to your cell phone so that you always have that phone number ringing to you no matter where you are at.
After they have successfully memorized their phone number, teach them 911 and what it is, when to use it, and what will happen if they do dial that number. Tell them to give the person on the call with 911, their phone number. If the child is at home trying to get help by calling 911, 911 will be able to find out their location from the phone number and send help. If they are lost and call 911, the operator can call the home number your child gives them while still talking to your child and get them home safely.
In my own opinion, a phone number to reach you is more important than your home address, so I teach my kids our phone number first and always have my phone with me.