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Should You Buy Your Child a Mobile?

By Edited Jun 24, 2016 0 0

Mobiles and Kids

The decision about whether or not to get your child the mobile phone that they want is tough. And yet it's a decision that all parents are going to have to make, and kids seem to be demanding phones at a far earlier age these days. Today we're looking at all you need to know about mobiles for kids, from the dangers to why they should have one, to which operator you should go with. So, if you're thinking about giving in and buying that mobile, then here's what you need to know...

The Dangers of Mobiles for Kids...

There are several reasons why many parents are hesitant to buy mobiles for children. Firstly, with so many smart phones having internet access, the chances of your child accessing inappropriate material are quite high. And there are also instant messaging services and chat rooms, plenty of places where a child can engage in conversation with people that they've never even met. Plus, how do you stop a child giving out his or her phone number? You have a right to be worried about giving your child a mobile, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they shouldn't have one.

The Benefits of Mobiles for Kids...

As dangerous as you might think it is for your child to have a mobile, it might be equally dangerous for them not to have one. Of course, your child wants a phone to be able to call and text their friends. But what about you? Once kids are old enough to be out and about by themselves, to walk themselves to school, for example, it can be tough to keep track of them. The primary reason that most parents buy their child a mobile is constant contact. Your child can get hold of you in an emergency, and you can get hold of them. It's that simple. If their ride doesn't show up, they can give you a call so you can go and get them. If they're not home when they're supposed to be, you can call and find out what's going on. Particularly if kids are left while parents are working, a mobile phone will give you a lot of peace of mind.

Precautions You Can Take...

There are several ways that you can protect your child from danger if he or she gets a mobile. The most important thing that you can do is simply to speak to them about your concerns, educate them so that they know what to do and what not to do and why. A child might not see any harm in chatting with a stranger online, or giving a friend's parent or family member their phone number, you need to explain just what could go wrong, so that they can make good decisions. There are several phones available that have parental control locks as well, so you can adjust settings, such as internet access, and then password protect them so that they can't be changed. And several mobile operators have parental control programmes as well, allowing you more say in what happens with your kid's mobile phone. As long as you choose the phone and the operator carefully, then there are things that you can do to prevent a lot of the dangers associated with children and mobile phones.

The Kind of Phone that You're Looking For...

You have a lot of options when it comes to buying a phone, but there are some things that you'll want to keep in mind. There are a couple of mobiles that are directly marketed towards children. These have limited calling abilities and nothing else, and they usually include an emergency button that connects to a designated number (usually yours) when pressed. These might be suitable for the youngest kids, but they're probably not going to cut it with children over the age of about eight. Basically, you're looking for a sturdy phone, since there's a high chance of it being dropped and it certainly won't be taken care of as well as it should, that doesn't cost too much, since it's probably going to get lost or stolen. You're also going to want to think about internet connectivity. You can completely avoid all the risks associated with mobile internet if you simply buy a basic phone, not a smart phone. Older, basic phone models often have no internet connection at all, so there'll be nothing to worry about. However, you'll probably find that most older kids won't settle for this kind of phone. In that case, have a look around for phones that include parental controls in the settings menu, such as iPhones and a lot of Nokia models. This way you'll be able to control what the phone accesses.

Tesco Mobile UK: The Best Operator for Kids

When it comes to operators, you're top choice should really be Tesco Mobile UK, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Tesco Mobile UK has capped calling plans. One of the worries of parents have is that kids on pay as you go plans are going to run out of credit when they desperately need it, or that kids on contracts are going to run up huge monthly bills. With a capped calling plan, you won't need to worry about this. Tesco can cut of service once the phone bill reaches a certain amount, but can still allow calls to be made to your mobile number. Another solid reason for going with Tesco is that you will have full control over your child's mobile account. Using the online Tesco parental control page, you will be able to choose what kind of internet pages are accessible from the phone, or even if you want to switch off internet connectivity completely. Finally, as an added bonus, Tesco does give you a choice of reward packages every month when you add family members into your account. So you can benefit from some extra calling minutes, texts or data for free.

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