Cell Phone Safety for Kids and Parents

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Family Tech

Technology for parents & kids: Hints, tips, online safety strategies & more.

So you already fought the Great Inner Battle about whether or not your child (or children) should access a cellphone, and for your own reasons, you decided that it’s best for your child to carry one. Excellent choice: cellphones are pretty much a must-have in today’s connected world, and goodness knows they’re welcome whenever an emergency pops up. All that said, it’s usually not necessary to bestow your kid with every available upgrade as soon as it comes out on the market. His or her cellphone should last, and some easy-to-follow tips should make sure that your child’s phone will last another year. 

How is he or she storing the phone? Who has direct access to it? How is the phone being cleaned? Is special attention being paid to battery preservation? Here are five ways to keep your son or daughter’s cellphone in good shape for another school year. 

Make sure he or she stores the phone safely when it’s not in use – Knapsack items like pencils and house keys don’t get along with cellphone screens. Make sure your child stores his or her cellphone in a safe, snug area, like a specialized pocket in a bag. Ensure the phone isn’t stored in a back pocket: That’s a great way to lose it, or smush it. 

Discuss which friends are allowed to touch the phone, and encourage your child to be firm about enforcing that rule – Talk to your child about limiting the phone’s access to careful and trusted friends. The acquaintance from the next desk over shouldn’t be allowed to shout “COOL,” grab the phone, and start fiddling with it. 

Teach him or her how to preserve the phone’s battery – Treating the cellphone’s battery with respect will ensure that the phone hangs around for a while. Go over some battery preservation techniques with your child. Some tips include turning off animated wallpapers, shutting off the phone when it’s not in use, and opting for a simpler ring tone. 

Teach your child how to clean the cellphone properly – Soap and Water = No. The phone should be cleaned with dry wipes or specialized screen cleaners. 

If he or she is using a smartphone that’s not an iPhone, help protect the device against viruses and malware – If your child is using a non-jailbroken iPhone, then he or she doesn’t have to worry about viruses and malware. If, however, the phone in question is powered by Android or another operating system, then measures should be taken against viruses and other malware. There are lots of free mobile anti-virus programs that can do the job. 

For more cellphone maintenance tips, visit: 

How to Make Your Cellphone Last Longer at FrugallyMinded

Cellphone Care and Maintenance at Good Housekeeping

Should Your Kid Get a Cellphone? at Discovery News

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About author

Nadia Oxford

Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com's Guide to the Nintendo DS.

View all posts by Nadia Oxford

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