09/24/2013 03:45 EDT | Updated 11/24/2013 05:12 EST

Police say false 911 calls increasing; kids given deactivated cellphones

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. - Mounties in Alberta say they are getting a lot of false 911 calls and they say it's coming from deactivated cellphones that parents have given their kids.

Grande Prairie RCMP say in one day, one child made 44 false 911 calls to police.

Police say even though cellphones may no longer be in service, if the phone has a battery and has power, 911 calls can be made.

Each 911 call results in a file being created and police have to investigate to ensure that there is no emergency and that no one is in distress.

Mounties say that takes resources away from other pressing concerns in the community.

If a deactivated or decommissioned phone is given to a child, police ask that parents or caregivers take steps to ensure that child does not use the emergency contact button.