Does Your Child Have a Cell Phone? Be Careful!
Thinking about getting a cell phone for your kid?
Almost every child nowadays can be seen roaming around with cell phones especially kids who are in the age group 11-14 years.
Since that area is now covered, the cell phone industry is now shifting their focus to another potential market – selling phones to kids in the age group 6-9 years old!
Sure, your child might need the device, but there are also some potential dangers associated with using a cell phone at such a young age.
Why Are Kids Using Cell Phones Nowadays?
The most valid answer for this question would be – to keep track of what the child is up to at all times. Which parent wouldn’t want to know this? Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of benefits associated with using a mobile phone like -
- Being able to get in touch with each other constantly and,
- Also being able to dial the emergency “911" in a jiffy.
These reasons are very much acceptable because at this day and age, even children are not safe. We are well aware of the various dangers that exist in our society nowadays in the form of kidnapping and rape and a parent should be able to protect their children whatever the time or place.
Apart from the benefits, there are also some risks involved with children using cell phones. It is always best to choose cell phones that are appropriate for each age group and maturity levels.
What Age Should Kids Get Cell Phones?
The Dangers/Risks Involved With Kids Using Cell Phones
True, that your child can access anyone in this world using a cell phone. But also remember that almost anyone in this world can interact with your child because of this very cell phone too!
Most cell phones come with internet and Bluetooth capabilities nowadays using which one can send messages, pictures and other private info easily. These services can also be used by cyber bullies and predators to contact your child.
Did you know that many exercise gyms have prohibited cell phone cameras in lockers? This is to prevent perverts from taking unnecessary shots during the exercise routines which will be then made available to millions of Internet users. As you can see, cell phone misuse is a problem not only faced by children, but adults as well.
It’s a shame to see that all this is happening, but reality is that they do!
There is more evidence from studies conducted in Europe and Japan now even the United States about the hazards of overuse of cell phones. In 1993, Dr George Carlo, a leading epidemiologist was actually hired by the cell phone industry to discredit the rumors about cell phones being a health hazard. After six years of research, the Dr found quite the opposite. I will quote him so I get the facts right. “Cell phones interfere with pacemakers. The developing skulls of children are penetrated by the energy emitted by the cell phone. The blood brain barrier, which prevents invasions of the brain from toxins, can be compromised by the cell phone radiation. Radio frequency radiation created micronuclei in human blood cells, a type of genetic damage known to be a diagnostic marker for caner.” If your children are going to use the cell phone, tell them to use a headset!
Recommended Cell Phones for Kids
There are number of recommended phones in the market available nowadays which are suitable for children. They include -
* A child phone called TicTalk is on the market. The phone looks like a cell phone but has no keyboard. Adults can input up to 23 names and numbers that can be dialed or received. The child scrolls down to find the right number to call. He or she can them communicate by holding their phone to their ear, using the speaker, or ear bud. This TicTalk is used like a walkie-talkie. Comes with five educational games.
* LG Migo Verizon VX1000 Mobile Child Phone – This requires a Verizon connection but is a cell phone which is well worth it for children. It had a dedicated emergency key along with 4 parent programmable numbers.
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What You Need to Do as a Parent!
You as parents need to talk to your children about cyber bullying and the use of emails and web sites. If they are receiving messages from bullies or receiving messages they are uncomfortable with, encourage them to tell you.
You can at least change email addresses and/or phone numbers while the proper authorities work on the cause and solution of the problem.
The most important thing to remember, is that when you give a child a cell phone, they need to be mature and responsible enough to handle it. One solution here might be to purchase a cell phone with pre paid minutes and no expensive and extra features.
In this ever popular and increasing age of technology, there are many problems, and sometimes not always straightforward solutions. Nevertheless, the key for children and cell phones is to decide which kind your child is mature enough to handle.
I also doubt cyber-space will ever be free of predators, but parents and children both need to openly communicate about what is right and wrong when operating the cell phones that are put in their hand.
Children need to be reminded often about the consequences of their choices. Remember that statement I wrote earlier about cell phones and exchanging messages and photos? “ A cell phone can give the child access to the world, but it can also give the world access to them.” Please be careful!
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