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Teach Kids to Blow a Whistle When Lost

by Susan Kramer

A man fell into the Mount St. Helen's crater and blew his emergency whistle to let rescuers know he was alive and his location. This reminded me how important it is to send our kids out the door with an emergency whistle hanging around their neck.

Another story in the news about an 8 year old boy with ADD wandering away from a campsite had a happy ending. He was found by rescuers more than 4 miles away from camp, after 80 hours on his own.

We ask ourselves, "How can I prevent this from happening to my kids, with or without learning disabilities?"

A solution would be to have every child wear a camp whistle on a chain around their neck, tucked into their shirt, when at an unfamiliar place, whether across town or across the state. And to give 2 long toots on their whistle to call for help. Then after a minute repeat the 2 loud toots, repeating the sequence until they are found.

Two long toots let others know it is a whistle call for something, and not random playing with a whistle.

A story from the past about 2 toots of the whistle: When I was growing up and a train would be approaching our village, it would blow its whistle twice to let us know to clear the track.

As part of the training, have your child give 2 long toots on his whistle in response to one long whistle toot from you. This lets others who may be looking for your child know it is your child, indeed, calling for help.

To help your child learn the technique make it a game

Go to a school yard after hours, or another large space that has a fence surrounding so he or she does not really get lost.

Make the game two parts -

1. The child is lost and calling for help:
The child goes out to the center of the playground, and you stand out of sight around the corner of a building. Then your child toots loudly twice on his whistle. And you walk or run into sight - rescue complete.

2. The child is lost and rescuers are calling out with one loud toot of the whistle:
Again the child goes out to the center of the playground and you stand out of sight around the corner of the building. This time you first give a loud toot of your whistle, which when your child hears it, responds with 2 loud toots of his own. Now in the rescuer part you are playing, you run to your child in response to his 2 loud toots.

Let's help all our kids, through learning this 2 - toot whistle blowing technique, have an added measure of safety away from home.

For offline reading

Free to Move, Learning Kinesthetically - Comprehensive guide to teaching kinesthetically in a 90 page fully illustrated text, outlining body placement, rhythms, large motor skills, dynamics, creative movement, mini-lessons, and detailed master lesson plan. Available as an Ebook or Print Book
Free to Move, Learning Kinesthetically by Susan Kramer

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