Mobile phones seem to have become a necessity today and are a great way for children to stay in touch with their parents, family and friends. Mobile phones allow users to make phone calls, take photos, play games, send texts (SMS) and images (MMS) and access the internet.
While mobile phones provide immediate contact and are fun to use for children, 24/7 access and portability of the devices means that you may not always be available to supervise. Mobile use can expose children to the following potential risks:
- Excessive costs incurred from calls, text, premium services and downloads
- Unsupervised internet access free of parental controls and filters
- Access to Bluetooth and other file sharing capabilities which may enable others to locate them
- Access to unwanted content including possible offensive or cyberbullying content
- The ability to share images of themselves, including naked or ‘sexting’ images.
While making a mobile phone available to your child, review whether you need to limit their mobile phone use or whether they are responsible enough to understand how to manage their own phone and their services. Your child will need guidance or rules to help them understand and manage costs with their mobile phones.