Telephone calls received since the inauguration of the Childline at the Red Cross House in Reykjavik in 1987 were included in this study. The purpose of the investigation was to find out the reason for calling and to compare the telephone calls received from children and adolescents with those from adults. The 26837 telephone calls registered at the Childline during the period 1987 till the end of October 1995 formed the basis for data analysis. The Childline registration sheet was used for collecting data for subsequent analysis. The registration sheet filled in by the employee is divided into two parts: general information about the caller and the reason for calling. More girls than boys called the Childline which is in accord with previous findings. About half the calls made by children and adolescents were from the country, the reason being limited social services available in the country. Another explanation is the closely knit community in the country encouraging seeking outside support. Most of the calls were made by the children and adolescent callers between 12:00 and 16:00 p.m. after school while the parents were at work. There is a marked difference between adults and children and adolescent callers in relation the subjects of discussion. Children and adolescents talked about matters relating to those common during adolescence, e.g. love, relationships with adults, questions relating to body image, sex, questions pertaining to pregnancy and abortion. Most of the adults sought advice about their child. Many callers in both groups were in low spirits when they called. A gender difference was reflected in girls calling in relation to difficulties experienced in love, pregnancy and abortion. More women than men contacted the Childline seeking advice relating to her child whereas men sought advice for their personal problem. The experience of the Childline underlines the importance of such a service being available for children and adolescents in an emergency, for seeking advice and being able to talk to someone when in need.