Smartphones sound great at first. They are a way to communicate with your child when they are outside, which provides peace of mind. Parents also appreciate mobile phones as an option for children to play alone, giving them time for other activities.
But while smartphones have positive sides, they also expose children to different risks. We categorized these below – here are the danger types parents should be aware of when they let their kids use a mobile phone!
- Physical Health Risks
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, mobile phone radiation is potentially cancerogenic to humans. Children absorb more radiation into the brain than adults, which might be due to thinner bones, tissues, and skin. That leads to a higher risk of non-malignant tumors in the ear and brain. It’s why experts recommend restricting kids’ phone use to reduce potential health dangers. Although more research is necessary and the exact risks are unknown, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Academic Performance
The math is clear – the more time your kid spends on the phone, the less time they’ll have for school-related activities. Many children miss doing their homework or don’t get ready for an exam because they prefer chatting and playing games.
And don’t neglect the option to use smartphones to cheat on exams. Many kids try to use their calculators or notes on the phone, although that’s not allowed on exams. That could lead to serious consequences, such as being expelled from school.
- Sleep Disruption
Optimal sleep is vital at any age, but especially for children. Even when they reach their teen years, kids are still developing. And sleep deprivation can affect mental and physical development, as well as cause problems with memory and focus. That limits their attention at school, which can also affect their academic performance.
Sleep disruption might come from using smartphones. Kids might stay up late talking to a person they like or playing games. If they fail to get optimal rest, they become nervous and can’t focus the next day. It’s why not using phones in their bedroom or at nighttime is a smart call for children.
- Inappropriate Behavior
Using a smartphone too much might affect children’s social skills. They could have problems establishing contact with other kids and adults. The lack of social skill development can lead to public and other anxiety types.
And there’s general inappropriate behavior. Your kid might notice specific behavioral patterns when browsing the web, playing games, or chatting online. Even though they aren’t acceptable, children might start applying them in real life, which could lead to violence, bullying, and other issues.
- Predators and Other Online Dangers
We can classify internet dangers into three main categories:
- Online predators. The virtual world has become a new hunting ground for predators. Your children are exposed to ill-intentioned adults that can try to abuse them financially, sexually, or in other ways.
- Cyberbullying. It’s common among children online, especially when playing multiplayer games. Using inappropriate language and seeing offensive messages can lead to your child feeling uncomfortable, unconfident, etc.
- Other sensitive content. These could be violent images, pornographic videos, or any other content unsuitable for children. It’s impossible for children to unsee something, and there’s loads of inappropriate stuff that could leave long-term consequences on your kids.
Final Thoughts – Parents Should Consider Monitoring Their Children’s Phone Activity
Your initial thought might be to ban phone use by your children. But that’s not a wise move since technology has become an integral part of our lives. All kids have smartphones, so yours shouldn’t be an exception.
Instead, consider getting them a customized phone for kids with built-in parental controls. The device is of premium quality, so your child will love it. The difference to standard models is that the device comes with integrated parental monitoring software. It’s impossible to erase, even if your child enters safe mode or performs factory reset. You can manage phone use from your device. That includes approving app installations, limiting hours to use the phone, monitoring activity, etc.
The idea is to fight technology with technology. Parental monitoring software will minimize online risks, especially those from sensitive content, predators, and bullies. Don’t hesitate to try it and see why it has become an integral asset for parents!