Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are mobile phones really safe for kids?

Mobile phones are the favorite and widely used medium of communication. It has become practically impossible to stay mobile and connected as well with the world without a mobile phone. And you would agree kids are not behind in this sphere as well. Kids want and demand a separate cell phone for themselves. And indeed it has become a necessity for kids as well!

As most of the tween and teens are on their toes attending different classes and activities or catching up with friends, it is important to keep a track of their whereabouts and their plans for the day. Mobile phones serve the purpose to keep the kids stay connected with their parents. Besides, to stay in tune with the rest of the world like friends, teachers, activity classes and others the cell phones are the constant companion for kids.

Though mobiles are the friendly gadgets, yet there are some probable dangers which may affect safety of kids. Parents should be aware of such safety concerns and accordingly protect their kids from such dangers arising from use of mobile phones.

Cell phone radiation is considered as dangerous. And in case of kids the threat is more serious.

Sharing of personal number with strangers can be risky as well because the same can be used for illegal purposes.

Use of cameras in mobile phones has deteriorated the security of the kids as anyone can take snaps and use in whichever way. Moreover the sharing of videos and photos on mobile phones may put the reputation of the user at stake if the data is located by some criminal or anti social people.

Internet installation on mobile phones opens up whole lot of ways which can lead to cyber bullying and harassment of kids. The profiles updated of teenagers can be misused and exploited for unlawful purposes.

SMS and texting may pose yet another kind of threat in form of bullying and sexting which may mentally torture the kids.

Too much usage of mobile phones results in inflated bills which may be difficult to digest by parents.

In view of the above threats, one can easily conclude that mobile phones have some concrete threats along with some sensible benefits. Taking away the cell phones is not the right solution. However, conscious safety measures can minimize such threats and maximize safety of kids. Some of the easy to implement means of protection are stated below:

Educate the child about probable threats and unlawful means that can be adopted by criminal minded people.

Ask the kids to share their number with friends and known people only.

Avoid disclosing the mobile number on the social networking sites or other kind of websites as the number can be misused for exploitation.

In fact, avoid providing internet facility on cell phones as it is difficult to safeguard the kids while they are outside homes and using internet for socializing or surfing.

Kids should be educated to use camera facility diligently and protest if somebody else photographs them without permission.

Kids should be instructed to use mobiles only when required in order to stay protected from radiation and also keeping the bills at lower side.

Provide only such features in the phones which are useful for kids. Feature such as GPS technology have a flip side as well and it's better to miss it on kids’ cell phones.
These basic safety measures for usage of cell phones by kids are compulsory and important to protect them.

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