Kids playing with old cell phones tie up emergency lines - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Safety

Kids tying up 911 lines

When they hear the sirens for 911, emergency responders obviously expect it to be a true emergency on the other end. 

But police say that's not always the case. 

"It's usually kids who have phones that have been disconnected and the parents give the phone to children and they hit certain buttons and call 911," said one dispatcher. 

It's an emergency feature: Even a phone that's out of service can call 911. 

But in a child's hands, that can mean trouble. 

"They don't know what they've done, so now they're all excited because all of a sudden what they thought was a toy is speaking to them," the dispatcher explained. "It's obviously tying up an emergency line and then we're tying up resources sending officers on a wild goose chase."

And police say it happens very often. 

When police do track down the pint-sized offender, officers say Mom and Dad usually are shocked to learn their old phone could cause so much trouble. 

So what is the best solution? Officers recommend taking the battery out of your old cell phone if you give it to your child for play – or simply not to give it to them at all. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow