Children and Cell Phones: Weighing the Risks and Benefits
Cell phones play a very important role in our society in the modern day. They help us to communicate, to entertain ourselves, to work, to do research and potentially do dozens of other things. Billions of people all over the world have a mobile phone for one reason or another.
In addition to most adults having a cell phone, more and more children are beginning to have cell phones. But is this a good idea? What are some of the pros and cons of children having cell phones or smartphones?
Well, that is exactly what this article is going to take a closer look at. Without any further ado, let’s go over some of the risks and benefits of allowing your children to have cell phones.
Risk: Potential Health Impacts
One of the biggest risks to keep in mind when it comes to allowing your child to have a phone are the potential health impacts. This can include the risk of obesity due to a reduction in physical activity due to the phone, less sleep because of the device and potential injuries from falling or tripping while being distracted by the phone.
These might seem trivial, but they are quite common and could easily affect your child if you’re not careful. Also, it is a good idea to hold some concern about the possibility of radiation from cell phone usage, which can have negative health effects. Thankfully, there are companies like EMF Harmony making products to protect children (and adults) from the negative health effects of wireless devices.
Benefit: Communicate During Emergencies
Perhaps the best reason for your child to have a cell phone is to keep them connected and able to communicate. Pay phones aren’t too common any more, so if your child experiences some kind of emergency, there may be no way for them to call for help. A cell phone can provide that safety net of knowing you can always reach your child, while also being a helpful lifeline if the child gets in trouble.
Even outside of emergencies, phones can allow for children to communicate with family and friends incredibly easily. It helps make things like making plans or arranging car rides much easier, and lets them communicate with friends without having to constantly use your phone.
Risk: Are They Responsible Enough to Handle it?
Another risk of giving your child a cell phone comes down to responsibility. Some children simply aren’t responsible enough to safely use a phone. They might drop it or lose it, which isn’t great as many cell phones and smartphones can cost a lot over time when you factor in the device, the plan and any other extras. They might also forget to charge it or bring it with them, which defeats the whole purpose.
In addition to not losing the phone and keeping it charged, are they responsible enough to use it well. Make sure they know how to responsibly browse the internet, the potential dangers of social media and a variety of other things. Before trusting your child with a phone, be sure to talk to them about how to use it responsibly and safely.
Benefit: It Will Keep Them Entertained and Informed
We all want our children to have fun and be entertained. A cell phone provides a ton of entertainment in a small package. There are games to play, apps to check out and millions of hours of videos to watch. This will keep them entertained and busy, which is a blessing for many parents.
However, be sure to monitor their usage, as well. It can be easy for children to neglect other things and only focus on their phone. Make sure they still enjoy other things like reading, playing sports and hanging out with friends instead of constantly being in front of a screen.
Of course, a phone can also offer much more than entertainment. It can give your child a wealth of knowledge and information, right at their fingertips. Whether they want to learn a fact, watch an educational video or get an answer to their question, a cell phone can do that for them.
In conclusion, we hope that this blog post has been able to help you learn about the risks and benefits of allowing your children to have and use cell phones.