It occurred to me all of the sudden. I was thinking about my own childhood and how I was taught when I should dial the universal emergency number.
I imagined in my own mind the house where I grew up, grabbing the phone from the wall in the kitchen and dialing three numbers; 9-1-1. That is when it occured to me. My kids don't have it so simple. My children's teachers, coaches, and parents (yeah me) have been teaching them the same thing we ourselves were taught… “pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1.”
The challenge is that there is no phone on my kitchen wall and dialing 9-1-1 on my cell phone takes a lot more tapping and dragging than just touching 3 numbers on a keypad.
So I decided to put it to a test…
I tried first with my 8 year old son. It went something like this:
“Simon, what should you do if one day mom falls down the stairs and hits her head and doesn't wake up?”
Simon: “I should call 9-1-1.”
“How would you do that?”
Simon: “With a phone.”
Simon: “Mom's cell phone or your cell phone.”
“Here is my phone. Can you show me how to do it? Don't worry, I'll stop you before you actually dial it.”
Simon: Fiddles with the phone. Manages to unlock the screen and find the phone app. Can't figure out how to make a dial pad display. Gives up and says: “Dad where are the numbers?”
The experiment didn't go much better with my 5 year old daughter. I suspect they could have both successfully opened Netflix but dialing 9-1-1 was too difficult without me showing them the step by step process. Further, each time I get a new cell phone I'll have to re-teach it for awhile.
Can your kids dial 9-1-1?