When you upgrade to a new cell phone, take out your SIM card and give your children your old cell phone. Depending on your old phones features they might be able to take pictures and play games.
Note:This is not for small children. Remember, 911 still works, so the children must be old enough and mature enough not to call 911 unless necessary.
By lynn salem from Sunrise, FL
Editor's Note: If you give the phone to a younger child, it would be a good idea to remove the battery.
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My daughter is 9 and has wanted a cell phone. I made a compromise. I gave her my old phone, which does not have a contract attached to it. She can play on it but can only dial one number on it: 911. It gives me the added sense of security knowing that if she needs help, she can call for it.
By Julie Barwick from Ottumwa, IA
I like your idea. What if none of the kids at some of these infamous school shootings had no cell phones to call for help? The only change I'd suggest is make it so they can call you, too. More than once my kids had transportation snafus and calling me was the only way they could get home!
Your kid's going to call you an old nag, but keep reminding her those are the only numbers her phone will dial. Of course, when she's older, she can "graduate" to a better phone. (04/28/2010)
I am a 911 dispatcher and I have to ask to please, please, please stress to her not to call 911 with the phone unless it is a true emergency. We get NUMEROUS calls every week from kids playing with an old cell phone that mom or dad gave them to play with and they are still capable of dialing 911. If we can ever get the child to give the phone to an adult, we will ask the adult to take the battery out of the phone. The child can still play with it, but it won't dial out anymore. We have had kids dial 911 and be extremely rude, vulgar and disrespectful when we answer and call back over and over and over. There's really nothing we can do about it either since we can't track the call. Our map only shows what cell tower the phone is hitting on.
Oh, and one other thing...in the event she does ever have to dial 911, the first thing she needs to tell the operator is her location. In case they lose contact with the operator, at least they know where to send some kind of help. As soon as the operator answers, give the location, then tell them what's going on.
Renee in TN (05/05/2010)