Kids and Mobile Phones

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Kids and Cellphones

Cell phone users are growing every minute in every part of the globe and the user is getting younger. The cell phone and service provider advertisements are increasingly being targeted at the children, teens and young adults. European governments have cautioned parents about the health hazards children face with the use of cellphones before they are16. But, countries like Britain, already have half their children using mobile phones and the number of users between ages 4-9 is fast increasing. Cell phone manufacturers are now targeting this age with friendly colourful mobiles with only 4 buttons and of upto 20 phone numbers to be stored. Parental controls and GPS locator are added features.

The very reason you are going through this hub is probably because you have to make an important decision, whether your child is ready for a cell phone of her own. Well, let us weigh the pros and cons of giving her one.

At what age are kids ready for their own cell phone?

At what age do they really 'need' one?

Every child, whatever the age-toddler, tweens, teens, today wants a mobile phone. Tweens and teens see the use of a cell phone as becoming independent and flaunting it as a status symbol, in addition to keeping up with the peers. A toddler or a preschooler just wants to imitate what adults do. But, it is more the parent who seems to want to know what the child is upto and also keep up or one step above their friends.

So, how useful is it going to be? Schools have banned the use of mobile phones as it is a constant source of distraction among students, whatever the age. Some teenagers have even cheated on tests using cell phones. Parents arguments that they need to know what their child is upto, does not hold water because the student is not permitted to use it during school hours. So, having one does not serve any purpose. If your school allows the student to bring a cell phone but makes it mandatory that it be put on silent mode during school hours, then probably you could know whether your child reached her swimming or music lesson after school. If a regular transport has been arranged for your child, it hardly matters whether he has a cell phone or not. Yes, in times of emergency, such as school leaving early or a basketball session finishing late, it would help you as parent make necessary alternate arrangements for transport. It is this sense of security, safety and convenience, most parents give in to the plea of a mobile phone for their child. A phone with GPS is seen as a must for some parents who want to know their child's whereabouts at any given time.

Of course, the child will argue that he would like a mobile phone because his friends have it, he can keep in touch with them and collect missed homework.

Some parents see the need to give their little one a mobile phone if she is allergic to something or asthmatic, or going on a school trip.

The Cons of Giving Your Child A Mobile Phone

The safe, convenient way to constantly be in one-button touch communication gives a parent the sense of security concerning the child. But, if the child is under 12, he should be under the supervision of an adult at all times anyway. And in most cases, the child would know how to use a regular phone or the cell phone of the one who is supervising.

Researchers have often cited cell phone usage as being hazardous to health, more so in the case of children. The ongoing research suggests that the more one spends time on one's mobile phone, electromagnetic radiation emitted can be the cause of Alzheimer's disease, brain tumors, cancers ,etc. The developing tissues of a young child can be affected, but the more recent studies show that there is no connection between radiation from cell phones and brain cancer. Well, the debate is still on, and it is certainly beneficial to limit the use of a mobile phone, whatever the age. Children have been seen to be impulsive if they are allowed the use of...
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