As a parent, you want to make your child happy, and what better way than surprising the little one with a smartphone he or she begged you for. Although there are a lot of questions about the proper age at which a kid should get one, the most important question on a parent’s mind is – will my child be safe?
Nowadays, effects of the smartphone on the health of your child are not the only thing to be concerned about. The internet is a tricky place and can be very deceitful for a child at such a young age. Surely, the little ones would disagree and provide a strong argument about how everyone has it and they want to stay in touch with their friends, but keep in mind that this opens new possibilities for a lot of applications you wouldn’t know about.
Before you start to freak out, there is a way to make both of your wishes come true.
Teach Them to Be Responsible
Before buying the new iPhone, start out with something cheaper and safer. If you want to avoid endless surfing on the internet, dumbed-down phones might be a perfect choice. The phone doesn’t have internet access and a data plan, but it has a voice service, Qwerty keyboard, and unlimited texting for your child to stay connected with their friends. Also, this is a good start-up phone for teaching them responsibility and modesty.
On the other hand, if you think your child deserves a smarter phone, it’s very important to set the rules and limits. The hard part is not to violate their privacy, then again, you don’t want them to send nudes and meet with strangers.
They need to be aware of the “stranger danger” reality and bear the consequences of breaking the rules you agreed upon. Some parents even sign a contract with their child before receiving a new phone.
Many phones have a parental control feature for enabling or disabling certain internet content. However, if you want to go further than just blocking, there is an app for monitoring children’s text messages and shutting off a smartphone remotely, beside the disable feature it also contains.
This may seem very strict, but you don’t have to be obsessed with every little thing they write or click. This is just a way to stop you from excessive worrying and to protect the child from potential danger. After all, you know the best.
Warranty & Price
Price-wise, let’s be real – a child shouldn’t carry around a $400 phone, when you can buy a perfectly good one for a much lower price. However, when buying one, the warranty really comes in handy. No matter how responsible a child is, the chances are the phone is going to get broken, lost or even stolen.
Also, think about choosing SIM only deals. This is a cheap alternative that offers a lot of advantages. Whether it’s plenty of minutes, or free data and music, you can contact them anytime you want at no extra charge and with absolute control over costs, and you can get a phone separately and save some money in the process.
You Can Never Be Too Safe
Never say never with smartphones. As mentioned before, the phone, or God forbid, the child can get lost. Then again, they could simply forget to answer their phone, not knowing the alarming thoughts passing through your mind. When searching for an appropriate phone, look for a GPS tracking technology phone. Wherever your child might be, this is a tool to pinpoint their location at any time.
Additionally, keep in mind the battery life of the phone. You can’t track them down if the battery is dead. Check out the phone’s power capacity and think about getting an affordable battery pack as a backup. For extra phone protection, whether it’s a built-in feature or an extra purchase of a screen protector or a case, it will keep the phone safe from scratches and water.
First kid’s phone options:
- Dumbed-Down Phone – It’s not smart, but it’s extremely safe.
- Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 – Simple, easy to use and cheap.
- Huawei Y3 – Another phone that won’t break the bank. The best quality of this, the previous and the next phone is the parental control.
- Microsoft Lumia 550 – It has integrated parental controls when it’s linked with a Microsoft account. This automatically restricts inappropriate content and requires parental approval.
- Kurio Phone – Features GPS tracking, monitoring calls, texts and apps for a low price.
- FiLIP 2 – Affordable and watch-like fun for kids. Serves as a phone and as a locator. On the downside, it can’t send messages.
Anyway, whatever phone you end up with won’t stop you from worrying. Children are constantly growing, and they are growing fast. You can’t protect them from the real world completely and forever, but you can use all the available tools at your disposal to keep their innocence protected a little bit longer.