September 1987

Telephone Call-in Services for Children in Self-care

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The Uni[ill]ersity of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tuc[ill]on (Dr Williams); and the Department of Pedi[ill]trics, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, [ill]altimore (Dr Fosarelli).

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(9):965-968. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460090042021

• An estimated 8 to 10 million American hildren younger than 18 years of age are in self-care before or after school. Telephone call-in services to provide adult contact for these children when telephone contact with their parents Is impossible or not feasible have been developed in more than 100 cities throughout the country. This study describes 2082 calls received by Tucson's KIDLINE and 2208 calls received by Baltimore's KIDSLINE. The mean age of the callers was 9.7 years, with twice as many girls as boys calling. Loneliness or boredom accounted for 68% of the calls, with fewer calls for help with homework (8%), interpersonal problems (6%), medical problems (3%), and fears (2%). Medical calls were mostly for minor Infectious [ill]llness; there were no calls for life-threat[ill]ening emergencies. We discuss the pos[ill]sible implications for pediatric practice.

(AJDC 1987;141:965-968)