12/05/2013 03:56 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Kids accidently dailing 911 with parents' cells, say police

Police in Laval say of the 265,000 calls placed to the city's emergency line this year, about 20 per cent were mistakes, and a large number of those came from children playing with old, deactivated cell phones.

Laval police lieutenant Daniel Guérin said about 7,000 calls originated from a child accidentally pressing the emergency call button, or dialing 9-1-1 after a parent programmed the number in the mobile phone.

Guérin said these calls consume valuable time for 9-1-1 operators and divert services from real emergency calls.

Guérin said there's also always a risk when a police car is sent on a call.

“That police car runs a little bit faster because when someone dials 9-1-1, we think that that person is in danger, so that police car can [cause an] accident,” said Guérin.

Guérin said cell phones should not be used as toys for children, and recommends people recycle their old devices properly.