The acronym ICE is probably best associated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, local police officials say parents should think of ICE as In Case of Emergency when it comes to their kid's cell phones.

We are living in troubled times.

Police say your child should have emergency telephone numbers and other information listed on their phones for quick access in the event of a crisis. Fairhaven Police Lt. Kevin Kobza said your child's ICE list should include 911.

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The ICE list should also contain one or both parent's or guardian's home, work, and cell numbers, and the same numbers for a parent or guardian's close friend, or those of a close relative.

"Basically anyone who can muster the family in the event of an emergency," Kobza said. "In other words, put together a family emergency plan equipped with phone numbers."

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"My mom and dad told my brother and me if anything happened, we would always meet at home even if there was nothing left," he said. "Once together, we would plan from there while remaining together."

Kobza said parents should have an ICE list of their own that includes children's schools, primary care doctors, and poison control.

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New Bedford Police Officer and School Committeeman Chris Cotter said grandparents and siblings should also be ICE contacts in a child's cell phone. Cotter said an ICE list makes important contacts visible and accessible. Cotter agreed that many parents probably have not established an ICE list for their child's cell phones.

Swansea Police Chief Marc Haslam said, "My suggestion to parents would be to obviously have their own numbers as well as other family members that the child could contact in an emergency" as part of an ICE list.

Chief Haslam said it is important to list a parent or guardian's work number as well.

"We have become accustomed to directly calling others cell phones. During an emergency, a parent (guardian) may be in a meeting or not have their phone handy," he said. "Having a trusted neighbors phone number could bring help to a child in an emergency quickly."

Chief Haslam also advises parents to establish an ICE list of their own with "phone numbers and any other information that would be helpful in an emergency such as medical information, allergies, etc."

The police say establishing an In Case of Emergency contact list with other instructions for what to do in an emergency is important to your child's safety. It only works, though, if the child knows about it and is comfortable accessing it when needed.

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