A few months ago the news reported that the 3 year old daughter of former NSW Treasurer, Michael Costa called triple zero when her mother was tied up by a home invader. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/masked-home-invader-ties-up-michael-costas-wife-and-steals-wine-20110414-1dezp.html
This got me thinking that it's never too early for children to learn what to do in an emergency. I have predominantly worked with preschoolers & discussed this at length many times, but here was an opportunity to reach a younger audience seeing as I'm working with the 2-3 year olds this year. I wanted to keep it simple, yet still get the core message across.
At the centre of this experience was learning the emergency number, 000. We used an old phone often used as a prop in dramatic play.
The children then had the opportunity to identify the numerals on the phone's touch pad & locating the zero. We did this as a group & again as individuals.
Once each child located the zero button we talked about how many times we need to press it, 3 times.
As a group we talked about how important it might be to remember how to do this. Consequently, we have been revisiting this during dramatic play as well as part of our numeracy experiences.
Although these children are relatively young, they posses the potential to help save someone's life, just like 3 year old miss Costa. We don't always like to think about these type of scenarios, but the fact is they are a part of our society whether we like it or not. It might not be a home invasion, but a parent who has collapsed for whatever reason & is unable to make it to a phone.
Afterall, children are often far more capable & resourceful then we adults give them credit for. Even as someone who espouses to this notion I am constantly amazed at what my children are able to achieve.