Friday, March 12, 2010

Carlos The Hero

If you haven't listened to little 7-year-old Carlos from Norwalk, CA on his now infamous 9-1-1 phone call this week, I urge you to listen (click here for video). Carlos called 911 from a locked bathroom, with his 6-year-old sister, as armed robbers held his parents at gunpoint in his home.  The boy told reporters at a news conference that he remained calm during the ordeal because his mother used to make him practice dialing 9-1-1 in case of emergencies. The intruders stormed the bathroom and reached the children, but since Carlos was on the phone with 9-1-1 and told them cops were coming the intruders fled. 

When I heard about this boy I was blown away. I feel we should all take a moment to collectively praise this little hero for saving his family and being calm and smart enough to remember to call 9-1-1. But more importantly, we should be praising and making an example of this family's practice. The mother made him practice how to dial 9-1-1. Have you done this with your underage kids lately? Ever? I know we all think "it can't happen to us" ... But I'm telling you, scary things DO happen to people like us every day. Isn't it better to prepare your kids? Look at Carlos!

Captain Patrick Maxwell, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, told The Early Show that Carlos did "a fantastic job … better than most adults." He added that the episode offers a valuable lesson for parents.  "We'd really like parents out there to have this as a learning experience to teach your children how to use 9-1-1."

Of course I agree with Captain Maxwell. This has been my message for years! Use the news and other situations as teachable moments to educate your kids on how to keep themselves (and you) safe. If you haven't had the 9-1-1 conversation with your child yet, use CARLOS as an example! Tell your child how Carlos saved his family by staying calm and calling 9-1-1 when the bad men entered the house. It's not about scaring your child -- it's about empowering them to be a hero if (G-d forbid) the occasion ever arises!

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