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Talking with your kids about what to do in an emergency is important, especially how they should alert you if they’re in danger and you’re not around. Since most kids have their phone with them all the time, they can use it to reach out for help, but what if they’re in a situation where they can’t make a call or someone is watching them text? That’s when tech experts say having a secret emoji could save the day.
The idea is that you and your kids come up with an emoji to use as a distress signal if they’re in a scary situation, in danger or need help, but can’t come out and explain what’s going on. In an emergency, an emoji is less obvious than a word or phrase, plus it’s fast and easy to text. Your family should come up with a plan together about what emoji to use and how you’ll respond. Some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure the emoji is easy to remember, but one that your family doesn’t use often.
- Animals are a great option, like the octopus, which is easy to remember, but not commonly used.
- Stress to your kids that it should only be used in emergencies, or situations they need help getting out of, not to joke around.
- Talk about the responses your kids should expect from you if they use the emoji.
- If your teen or college-age kid is in a scary situation, texting the emoji can help them get help without letting everyone around them know they feel uncomfortable.
- Other emoji that make good secret signals for an emergency include giraffe, volcano, mushroom, owl, carousel horse and bellhop bell.