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Having a smartphone in your hand means that you have access to a world of information and useful tools. We've rounded up a few apps designed to help you with basic first aid in the unfortunate case that you'll need it this festive season.
This first aid for children app is designed for the South African market and includes loads of emergency advice and information. Aimed at parents, this is an excellent app to take with you on holiday. It includes step-by-step voice and visual instructions on what to do in common emergencies like choking and drowning. It can use your phone's GPS to locate the nearest hospital and you can call emergency numbers from within the app. It costs about R20 and is available for Android, Windows and Apple devices.
Download the free Netcare Assist app to access medical information related to everyday emergencies, get in touch with local emergency services and find the closest medical providers. The app includes a number of functions including Emergency Assist, Search Assist and First Aid and is available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices.
This free app provides simple advice on what to do in emergency situations. It has step-by-step instructions, videos and animations and once you’ve downloaded the app, you don’t need an internet connection to use it. Just remember that the hospital information and emergency numbers will be relevant to the UK, not South Africa.
Another South African-developed app, the free Bull Horns app installs a silent panic button onto your smartphone that allows you to notify security companies, the police and five private numbers from your contact list, as well as track your location, if you're in trouble. It's inspired by the Zulu battle strategy of silently surrounding their enemy, aptly called Horns of the Bull, and aims to bring help in to catch the bad guys wherever you are.
Keep track of your family with Vodacom's Look 4 Me location service that transforms smartphones into portable tracking devices – with permission of course – so you'll always know where your loved ones are.
Vodacom Call Sponsor lets you pay for calls made by a Vodacom Prepaid or Top Up customer through your Vodacom contract. This means your kids can get in touch instantly even if they have run out of airtime.
Numbers to note
It’s always when you most want to find a number that you have no idea where you stored it. Save these numbers in your phone and stick them up on the fridge in case of any emergencies, whether you’re at home or on holiday.
If you do need to phone emergency services for some reason, it's important to keep calm. You'll probably reach an automated menu and the operator will definitely ask you a few questions about your emergency.
Although it feels like they’re wasting precious time, try to remember that these measures are all so that they can react appropriately, send the right kind of help and make sure your emergency is dealt with properly.
Provide them with the right address, a phone number in case they need to call you back and clear information about the emergency situation. That way they can react now to save time later.
Vodacom’s emergency service line: 112
In an emergency, Vodacom's 112 will instantly connect you to the nearest local government emergency service based on your location, even if you’re out of airtime. This service is free to Contract, Top Up and Prepaid customers.
Other important numbers
- Police and flying squad: 10111
- Emergency services (ambulance and fire squad): 10177
- ER24: 084 124 (private ambulance)
- Netcare911: 082 911 (private ambulance)
- Air ambulance: 0861 267 267
- AA South Africa Roadside Assistance: 0861 000 234
- Tourism and Travel Information: 083 123 6789
- Tourism Safety and Reporting: 0861 874 911
- Road and Traffic Information: 084 303 0345
The festive season can be a lonely or unhappy time for some. If you’re feeling depressed or sad and need someone to talk to, call Lifeline’s 24-hour counselling line on 0861 322 322.