Parents, in particular, are concerned about the safety and welfare of their families. There are steps that parents can take to help ensure their families safety and to educate children on how to use 911 (PDF). Parents can also encourage their kids to visit our Kids Space where they will find lots of fun activities and links to other kid related emergency information such as making 911 work for kids (PDF).
Children & Cell Phones
Do not let children play with your cell phone, even if you have no service. The FCC requires that cell phones have access to the 911 system even if there is no service plan. The 911 Center receives hundreds of calls throughout the year from children playing on cell phones. When the communications officer answers these calls, it ties them up which may cause someone with a true emergency to have to wait. These types of calls could cost someone else their life if they cannot reach 911 for help.
If you are going to give your child an old cell phone for play, make sure the battery has been removed.
Information for Teenagers
With the skyrocketing use of cellular phones among teenagers, and the number of teenagers who are home alone or who babysit younger children, it is important they understand when and how to use 911. There is information (PDF) written especially for teens that might help when calling 911.