Emergency phone lines in southwestern Ontario were kept busy over the holiday weekend, as one child called 911 over 400 times.

Owen Sound, Ont., police say the child, who identified themselves as Alex, tied up emergency resources in the region for hours on Sunday by repeatedly dialing 911.

Police are not sure if the child was a boy or a girl but suspect the caller was 4 or 5 years old.

Police said dispatchers repeatedly asked to speak to Alex’s parents and to stop calling 911 but were ignored.

Adults could be heard in the background talking and offering the child pie. The dispatchers tried calling and shouting into the phone to attract the caregivers’ attention but were unsuccessful, police said.

The phone the child was using was likely a pay-as-you-go or deactivated cellphone, police said.

“Caregivers must realize that deactivated cellphones are capable of dialing 911, even if it’s a pay-as-you-go phone with no balance or time available,” police said in a release.

Children should not be allowed to use a cellphone as a toy, police said.

“Tying up 911 resources like this can result in unnecessary delays for legitimate 911 emergencies,” police said.

Police believe the origin of the calls was about five kilometres south of Port Elgin, on the shores of Lake Huron.

(news source http://www.torontosun.com/news/weird/2010/10/12/15659856.html)

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