Whoops! Michigan Toddler Dials 911 on “Broken” Apple Watch
Parents in West Michigan learned the hard way that an Apple Watch, even if "broken", can be used to call 911.
Hopefully, none of us will face a situation where calling 911 is necessary. Thankfully, there was no emergency behind this 911 call. Just a couple of toddlers who wanted to say, "hello!" On Monday of this week (1/31/22) Leon Hendrix, communications lead for Spectrum Health, tweeted this:
As it turns out, that Apple Watch was very much in working order. At least enough to be able to dial 911. In the video, you can hear the operator trying to instruct the children when they start with responding with things like, "Okay, bye!!!" or, "I can't walk. I'm in the crib!" It's impressive that, even as a toddler, he's wearing and operating that watch like an expert.
Thankfully, Hendrix and his wife caught the whole thing on the baby monitor and were able to intervene before authorities were dispatched to their home. Hendrix shared that when his wife took away the watch his son said, "But mom, I was talking to everybody!" Additionally, when looking at the history on the phone they learned that this was his second call to 911 that evening.
Hendrix's story must have spread on Twitter because just one day later he received this message:
Thankfully, this adorable moment can be chalked up to kids being curious kids. However, if you're suddenly realizing that you also gave your kid a "broken" Apple watch that may not actually be broken, there is something you can do to make sure 911 isn't accidentally contacted.
Normally, on an Apple Watch, you simply have to hold down the side button (which is probably what happened with Leon Hendrix's kids) to contact 911. While SOS Emergency Services cannot be turned off completely, this step-by-step guide from iphonelife.com can walk you through the steps to change how SOS Emergency services are contacted.
If you're more of a visual learner, here's a quick Youtube tutorial:
As well, if your kids are approaching the age where they'll be able to call 911, by accident or not, this article from kidshealth.org goes through how to talk to your kids about the specific situations where they might have to use emergency services.