Cellphone use is a highly debated topic among parents. As the technology becomes more ubiquitous, kids have access to mobile devices at a much earlier age. Parents sometimes even give infants the opportunity to watch content on a phone.
Let’s take a look at some of the effects cellphone use has on children, and what parents can do to keep their kids safe.
When a child has 24/7 access to the internet, there are very real security concerns. Anyone can get in contact with your child through the device at any time of the day. It is important to monitor your child’s activity if he or she has access to a device. Talking about internet safety from a young age can help to prepare children for potentially unsafe situations in the future. If your child has a phone number, be sure to keep it protected.
The pressure to have a cellphone increases every year in the United States. According to a recent study, teenagers who spend five hours a day on their phones are 71% more likely to commit suicide. This eye-opening statistic shows that young minds are very vulnerable to what they see on their cellphones. By limiting the amount of time spent on the phone, children can learn to interact with their peers instead of depending on the digital world for social interactions.
With social media, online videos\shows, and other websites always accessible from a smart phone, children are spending less and less time playing, socializing, reading books and being active outside. All of things are important to the development of a healthy child and healthy adult.
Cellphones discharge a safe amount of radiation. Or at least, that’s what the tests show to date. But is any amount of radiation really safe? The answer is, we haven’t been testing the effects for long enough to know the answer. Devices like microwaves also give off radiation, so chances are we don’t have much to worry about. But just in case, it might not be a bad idea to limit your child’s cellphone use.
Take the “Wait Until Eighth” Pledge
A pledge is circulating to delay giving children a cellphone until they reach eighth grade. If the majority of parents take the pledge, kids will feel less pressured to have their own devices before hitting this milestone, because the same will be true for all their peers. The pledge focuses on smartphone technology, encouraging parents to avoid all the distractions and the dangers of the internet that come with a 24/7 connection.
Excessive cellphone use among children is a very real issue today. More children have access to these devices and the technology than ever before. For more information, you can read the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for media usage in children.