Cell Phones and Kids

Monday, July 18, 2011

A cell phone lets you stay in touch with your children at almost all times. In addition to being practical, having a cell phone can help you easily get in touch with your kids in case of an emergency. This extra sense of security and safety that a cell phone provides is probably the key reason that parents should even consider getting their younger children a cell phone. A cell phone can also be an important way to keep in touch with your older teen, especially if they are driving.

Although the increased independence that a cell phone might offer a child can be good, it can also be a negative thing. Consider that with a cell phone, your child will simply have another way to communicate with the outside world that you will have little supervision over. And keep in mind that most of today's cell phones offer almost complete internet access, with web browsing, email, chat, and instant messaging, that is much harder to filter and control as compared to your home computer.

Cell phones may even be a distraction to kids. We all know that they are a distraction for drivers, but one study has also shown that cell phones can be a big distraction for kids crossing the street and could lead to more accidents and injuries.

Cell phones also put your child at risk for getting in trouble for:

■sexting - sending or receiving nude pictures or classmates
■prank calls - which can get your child in trouble if someone starts pranking other people from your child's phone

Whether or not your child is ready for or needs a cell phone is something a parent will have to decide for themselves. Do make sure that your child can handle the responsibility for a cell phone though, before you buy one. Also remember that you can buy a phone that is just a phone; it doesn’t have to have internet access.

Source: About.com “Kids and Cell Phones”

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