Kids playing with old cell phones may be to blame for a rash of prank or accidental emergency calls to law enforcement in the Casper area. In a post on their Facebook page, the Casper Public Safety Communication Center says earlier this week they received nearly fifty prank calls in one morning, from what sounds like young children.

"Often, children are given cell phones as toys because they are no longer active or used and no one is aware that 911 can still be called. These calls tie up valuable resources - 911 lines and dispatchers, and could delay emergency services to someone in need. Parents and caregivers, please talk to your children about the importance of dialing 911 only in an emergency."

Kids aren't always to blame for accidental emergency calls. According to the Federal Communications Commission, some seventy percent of 911 calls in the U.S. are made from wireless phones. They offer these tips to help prevent those inadvertent emergency calls.

  • Don't program your phone to automatically dial 911 when one button, such as the "9" key, is pressed. Unintentional 911 calls often happen when auto-dial keys are pressed inadvertently.
  • If your wireless phone came pre-programmed with the auto-dial 911 feature already turned on, turn this feature off (you can check your user manual for instructions).
  • Lock your keypad when you're not using your wireless phone to help prevent accidental calls to 911.