As cell phones are getting more and more popular more younger children want to have one. Even a 5 year old child already wants to have his own cell phone. So the question of whether your child is old enough to have a cell phone is certainly going through your mind. It is not just about the age of the child. It is also about being sure that he/she is ready for it. If you are considering offering a phone to your child, here is what to take into account before making the final decision.
Benefits of having a phone
As a parent you can get worried about the whereabouts of your child. With a cell phone you can always get in touch with your precious one. It is the most convenient way to know where your child is at any particular moment. It goes both ways, in an emergency where your child needs to reach you, the cell phone is the only tool available today.
Nowadays twice more children have cell phones in comparison to those in 2004. Most children in the teens now have their own phone. It is estimated that about 85% of teens between 14 to 17 use cell phones. It is the case with 69% of children between 11 to 14 and 31% of children between 8 to 10 are into phones too. This was reported in a survey done by Kaiser Family Foundation. A lot of kids are now using these electronic gadgets and feel that it is a requirement to be able to fit in among their friends.
What are the health implications of using a cell phone
Cell phones work by emitting and receiving radio waves. Those wave are comparable to the ones that are used in microwave oven. The World Health Organization has classified those waves to be of the Group 2B. That means they are possibly carcinogenic. Is there a possibility that by exposing a child to those wave at a very young age it may have a regrettable consequences in the long run?
A study that was done in 2011 was not able to find any link between brain tumor in children and the use of mobile phone. It should be noted though that the researcher in the study recognized that the individuals in the study did not spend as much time on their phone compared to people of these current days.
Did you know that the simple fact of giving a cell phone to your child could affect his/her sleeping habits? A research has shown that 42% of teens that sleep with their cell phone on next to the bed were more likely to immediately check their phone whenever they receive a text message.
Sleeping being important for the child, you don’t not want a situation where your child did not have enough sleep for the silly reason that he received some text messages during the night. Sleep must be uninterrupted during the night. As a parent, it is your role to make sure that the phone does not disturb during your child’s sleep.
Cell phones are not what they used to be
Today’s cell phones are not just devices to make calls. They are used in many different activities, like social media, games and even watching TV. Giving an equipment like that to a child is like giving him a mini-computer that comes with very addicting features. You at least want to discuss with your child the addicting risks that goes along with that gadget. If you find out that your child is spending too much time on the phone at the expense of any other activity, you might want to step in and set things straight.
Is your child ready or not?
It is not about the age, it is rather about the maturity of the child. Some children may be older in age and yet do not show signs of responsible behavior. At certain age, a child should know that there is time to play and time to study. It is up to you to observe your child and find out if he is responsible enough to own a phone. You needs to ask yourself if he really needs that phone at the point of his life. Don’t just give him a phone for the sake of pleasing him. He should earn it by his behavior.