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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

In Case of Emergency (ICE)

Here is an important topic I had not given much thought, but I believe parents should put on their "to-do" list. First, the police suggest that you program an "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) number into all the phones in your household. This is a number that safety people will look for if someone is found unconscious or need emergency medical treatment, and should be a person to call who can identify the owner of the phone and give permission to treat in an emergency.

The second thing I want to encourage parents to do, is to work with your child to program some adult numbers into their phone. Recently I used my daughter's phone and realized that all the numbers in her phone were her friends, which makes perfect sense, but what if she needed a grown-up to help her deal with an emergency situation, and I was not available? We picked several parents of friends that she would be comfortable asking for help, and then I sent them an email letting them know I had put their phone number into my daughters' phones. I feel better knowing they can reach someone at all times.

While we are on the subject, do you have an emergency plan for your family? The earthquake the other night made me check in with my kids about what they would do if we were separated during a natural disaster, most likely an earthquake in California. We had not really talked about it since they were in elementary school and had to make an emergency plan as an assignment.

Have a plan - there are some hints about where to start and what to include at "We're Talking, Too: Preteen Health." Good luck and have fun!
Photo credit: gastev

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.