samedi 24 décembre 2016

Cell Phones and Children

To buy or not to buy? When it comes to cell phones and children, it wasn’t so long ago that parents were faced with the dilemma of whether or not to purchase a cell phone for their teenagers . Now, parents are facing the same decision. Only now they are asking themselves this question for their elementary aged children as young as five years old.

While cell phones provided a new level of security by allowing parents immediate access to their teens, they also allowed teenagers immediate and constant access to their friends (and all the implications that comes with such social networking). Now the cell phone industry is targeting pretweens with marketing campaigns aimed at the 5 – 12 year old crowd. After all, they may not control the purse strings but they can badger the holder of the purse strings incessantly!
So, back to our original question: to buy or not to buy? The options of cell phones for young children have vastly improved offering way more features in the way of safety and parental controls.

Many of the cell phones targeting children under twelve offer the parents complete control over their child’s usage. Parents can program the phone (either directly or over the internet) to limit who the child can call or receive calls from. Instead of a numeric keypad most models have buttons parents can program with numbers such as mom or dad’s cell phone, home, or grandparents. Many of these kid-friendly phones also have a designated button for 911 that can instantly access emergency services. Most models have a pin-protected address book that allows parents to program up to 20 numbers that the child can receive calls from.

Another great safety feature is the GPS tracking function. While this may cost an extra fee, it is well worth the peace of mind it offers parents when their children are out of their sight. This feature allows parents to track their child’s exact location over the internet. It can literally be a life saver to a young child who has gotten lost or been abducted. On some models, this feature also includes designated zone notification. This feature allows parents to set zone limits of where their child can move within. If the child moves outside of a set zone, a text will be sent to a parent’s cell phone notifying them of their child’s movements.

Some other parent-friendly features include setting limits on length of phone calls, times of day and days of weeks that the phone can be used, and limiting text and picture messaging (if these features are available).

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