Verizon Wireless Calls on Parents to Teach Their Children How to Use Wireless Phones During Emergencies

BEDMINSTER, NJ — When traveling up the street to the grocery store or cross-country to visit relatives, wireless phones provide connections that can make all the difference during emergencies. In honor of Wireless Safety Week (May 24-28, 2004), Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, encourages parents to ensure their children know the proper steps to take to effectively report an emergency and request assistance using a wireless phone.

Parents can follow these steps to prepare their children to use wireless phones during emergencies:

  • Start with the Basics — Teach children how to turn a wireless phone on and off. Be sure they can identify if a phone has been turned off and needs to be turned on to make a call.

  • Program Emergency Numbers — Program the phone numbers for all local emergency contacts and teach children how to locate these numbers on the phone.

  • Explain How to Dial — Walk through the process of placing a call on a wireless phone and stress the fact that the send button must be pressed in order to place the call. Be sure children understand that placing a call on a wireless phone is different than placing a call from their homes or schools.

  • Teach Children About 911 — It is important that children know they can dial 911 if they need help. They need to understand that they should answer all questions about their location and the nature of the emergency — explain that even if they do not know their exact location, any details they give to the 911 operator will be helpful. Also explain that they must stay on the phone until the person on the other end says they can hang up, which gives the operator time to trace the call if E911 location technology is available or ask questions to help determine the exact location.

  • Set the Rules — Make sure children understand that a wireless phone is not a toy, it is an adult tool meant to be taken seriously and used only during emergencies.

"Emergencies present scary situations for children," said Jim Gerace, vice president of corporate communications for Verizon Wireless. "Taking the time now to explain to your child how to use a wireless phone can make a considerable difference in how effectively your child reacts should an emergency ever occur."

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About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 39 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto