- In an emergency, an emoji draws less attention than a word or phrase
- Make sure the emoji is easy to remember, but not used often by your family.
- Stay informed about technology with expert Kim’s free newsletter. Register at Komando.com
If you have children, it’s important to talk ahead of time about emergencies.
A big part of the plan should be how they let you know if they’re in danger when you’re not around.
Most kids carry phones in their pockets, but there may be situations where your child can’t make a phone call, perhaps because someone is looking over their shoulder when they’re texting.
That’s when a secret emoji could save the day.
A secret emoji could save the day if your child is in danger
In an emergency, an emoji is less conspicuous than a word or phrase, which could tell someone else if your child is calling for help.
So if your child can’t make a call or someone is looking at their text messages, an emoji can serve as the perfect distress signal.
When choosing the best secret emoji, make sure it’s easy to remember, but not often used by your family. That could cause unnecessary confusion and probably some angst.
You should also avoid commonly used emojis, such as hearts or smiley faces.
Animal emojis are great options, especially the more exotic ones. Let’s take the octopus, for example.
That little one isn’t commonly used, but it’s easy for the whole family to remember.
Picking a secret emoji may seem like a quick task, but it’s important to have a formal family meeting with your kids to discuss the plan.
Remember that it should only be used in emergencies. No fun stuff.
You should also explain what responses your children should expect from you if they use it.
For example, when the emoji is sent to you, will you follow up with a phone call? If so, what will you say?
A great suggestion is to call your child immediately and tell them to come home as soon as possible.
Depending on what is happening, other steps you can take as a parent are to contact the authorities or reach out to nearby trusted adults.
About Kim Komando
After you decide what your secret emoji is and discuss the plan with your kids, be sure to check it regularly.
Have a family meeting once or twice a year to review it so that it comes naturally in case of a real emergency.
This is not just a good idea for young children. Your teen or college-age child could end up in a difficult situation and need help, without alerting everyone around them that they are uncomfortable.
Here are the most important points when putting together a secret emoji plan with your family. You can even use this as a guide for your family reunion.
● A secret emoji is a great alternative to a standard emergency call or text message. It is less obvious to perpetrators and gets the message across quickly.
● Choose an emoji that you and your family don’t use regularly, but don’t choose anything too dark. Animals are great.
● Once you’ve decided on the secret emoji, sit your kids down and discuss the plan. Include the actions you will take if they ever have to use it.
● Check your secret emoji plan regularly. Change the emoji if you find out that someone actually uses the emoji you chose for other purposes.
It is very important to be prepared for emergencies. Adding a secret emoji to your family’s overall safety plan is a smart idea.
Make sure children can always communicate with you
If the whole family uses iPhones, here’s a must: set up Family Sharing. This feature allows you to share your location with family members and help them find their devices if they are lost.
But even if your phone isn’t lost, people you share your location with can ping your phone when it’s in Do Not Disturb mode to get your attention.
Here’s how to set up Family Sharing:
● Go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing, then scroll down and touch Share location.
● Touch the name of a family member with whom you want to share your location. You can repeat this step for each family member you want to share your location with. Each family member receives a message that you are sharing their location and can choose to share their location with you.
● You can stop sharing your location with any family member at any time.
After sharing your location with members of your Family Sharing group, they will be able to see your device in their Find My app and send an alert to your phone if necessary.