How to train your children for an emergency.
An emergency is something you hope your children never have to deal with, but sometimes it happens, so I find its always best to be organised. Have you ever found yourself in that situation where you think ‘This could have been so much different, what would I have done?’ Thats exactly what happened to me back in August when I found myself in a little bit of a pickle!
It was the summer holidays and I was at home on my own with The Coffee Beans having a lovely time playing duplo. After laying on the floor for a while playing, we then started to tidy up. Unfortunately I couldnt actually get up from the floor. My back had totally frozen up and any movement caused pain. I don’t normally suffer with my back so this was a total surprise to me and also to The Coffee Beans who, bless them, were little troopers all the way through it!
I did manage to get myself onto my hands and knees and thankfully was able to see a funny side to it all. I couldn't stop laughing about it, but I think this partly because I didn’t want to worry the children. They were adorable. Youngest Coffee Bean giggled along with me at the fact that I was totally frozen and couldn’t move and eldest Coffee Bean said, "Don’t worry Mummy we can rub your back and make it get better". He was much more thoughtful!
As I was stranded, Big Coffee Bean was full of useful tips the best one being (as I’m on my hands and knees) ‘Now Mummy just lift you hands up off the floor and then stand up.’ You know if I could have done I would have done, but my brain was saying 'just take a hand off the floor' and body was saying ‘I don’t think so!’ I asked Big Coffee Bean to help me up - have you ever asked a child to help you off the floor….it didn’t work! He held my hand and I just ended up dragging him down with me so it was onto plan B!
The Coffee Beans had to move the furniture around - they managed to tidy up and then push a coffee table over to me so that I could use that to put my weight on. I tentatively stood up, and when say stood up I mean got to my feet bent over looking like an old woman stooped in crippling pain! Then I made it to a chair and that's where I stayed for the next 3 hours. Fortunately, I had left my phone next to the chair, rather than its usual home high on a shelf, so I was able to make a phone call. Mr OMC was due back from work about half an hour later so I was in luck. Even more impressively The Coffee Beans realised that they needed to behave; I mean honestly they could have run riot, I was in no position to stop them but they just played nicely in front of me which was a relief.
All the time this was happening I couldn’t stop thinking what would I have done if the the situation was different. What if I hadn’t even managed to get on my hands and knees? What if it was the morning rather than nearly the end of my husbands work day? What if I couldn’t have reached my phone to call him and ‘raise the alarm’? It was only a couple of months before this that we had come up with a solution for such situations and I had no idea I would come so close to needing to to use it!
In our kitchen we have a notice board, and 2 months before I had created an emergency sheet for the Coffee Beans to use if they ever needed it and pinned it to it. We talked them through (well, eldest Coffee Bean) how to use it and despite him being initially quite upset and scared by the prospect of needing to deal with an emergency he spent the next few days talking through the steps.
I created the emergency sheet to look simple with only the key information needed and pictures to show what all the bits were. Our big Coffee Bean is a good reader but I wanted to make it as easy as possible.
Here is how it looks - obviously these aren’t my details so don’t try calling! haha!
The top has the phone keypad on it to indicate that the child needs to get the phone type in the number and press the telephone to speak. The only thing I did after printing it out was colour the phone green as our printer is only black and white!
Then we added all the information they should need. We put on Mummy and Daddy’s phone number and their Grandparents number and we spoke about how sometimes an emergency might just need a grown up to help rather than the emergency services. Then I added on our home address, my thought being that if he did ever need to call the emergency services even if they couldn’t read it they could spell out the letters and the call handler could workout where they were.
Then at the bottom I put the 3 main emergency services vehicles and 999 - I'm sure they know that but I wanted to be certain they'd got it!
Its only a simple sheet but I was so thankful that I knew it was there and they could have used it if they had needed to. I actually spoke to Big Coffee Bean (whilst I was marooned in the chair) and asked him what he would have done if it was an emergency, he knew instantly. He told me he would get the sheet and talked me through all the information on it and what to do. Needless to say I had a very proud mummy moment!
If you want to make your own emergency sheet and like this format I have added a link here for you to download and personalise your own copy.