Vinod Kapri’s movie Pihu revolves around a toddler, who is trapped in the house and plays with dangerous items. If the scenario had played out in real life, things could have been different if the toddler had been trained to cope with an emergency.
The trailer of the movie Pihu, directed by Vinod Kapri, has shaken many of us. Rightly dubbed “every parent’s worst nightmare”, the film shows what could happen when a child is trapped all alone at home. The mother is supposedly lying dead in a room, leaving her two-year-old daughter to wander about the house and meddle with things that invite danger, like turning on the gas burner and attempting to climb over the balcony.
As intriguing as the trailer seems, it draws our attention to the helplessness of the child, who is unaware of the emergency in the house and is thereby unable to make sense of the situation. Could things be different if the toddler had been trained to cope with an emergency? Perhaps. But how can one prepare a child to deal with such a situation? Here are some ways to do so:
1. Explain what emergency means: To begin with, parents need to clearly explain to their child what an emergency situation entails. Instead of using complex words or medical terms, teach your child about emergencies and how to identify them through examples.
2. Teach basic safety rules: Every child needs to be taught basic safety rules to avoid danger. Children should know what things to touch or not to touch like wires and plugs, what or what not to play with, and water safety, to name a few.
3. Maintain a phone book of emergency contacts: Parents can maintain a phone book for their child with some emergency contact numbers, including that of his or her parents and close relatives. Make sure your child has constant access to the phone book and knows whom to call first in case of an emergency at home or at school.
4. Teach about emergency helpline numbers: Thankfully, most children learn to use a mobile phone at a very young age. Parents should ensure their child knows all about the emergency phone numbers that can be dialled in case of a mishap with nobody around to help, including which number to dial when, be it the police station, the fire brigade or the ambulance. Parents can also teach them how to speed dial numbers. A kid-friendly mobile phone called easyfone Star, for instance, comes with a dedicated SOS key which allows children to seek help quickly in emergencies. The phone also features a picture speed dial which makes it easier for kids to access in case of emergencies.
5. Teach what to do in case of a mishap: A child should also be taught the specifics of dealing with a particular mishap. For instance, he or she should know the exact evacuation steps, how to cover the face and drop and roll to protect their eyes in case of a fire in the house or how to help an ailing parent or relative at home, among other things.
6. Play mock emergency games: To train a child, parents can enact mock emergency situations at home and let their child practice ways to cope with it. One can play association games like matching a tool to a worker or identifying specific safety signs, or even practice mock drills. Conduct these games frequently to ensure your child is prepared. In the process, your child will learn not to panic in any such situation. Some online games are also available to teach kids about dealing with a specific emergency, such as Safety for Kid, Baby Panda Home Safety, and Kid Safety Learning Game, to name a few.