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4 Best Phone Safety Practices To Teach Children

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Courtesy of Scholastic

For many children, receiving a cell phone is a right of passage into adolescence and young adulthood. Though your child may be excited to finally receive his or her own personal device, owning a cell phone comes with a lot of responsibility. The following are four tips to teach children and teenagers the importance of proper phone safety and security.

Memorize Emergency Contacts

One of the most important things for children to understand when owning a cell phone is that technology should not be their primary source for storing data. Just like their parents and grandparents did when they were young, children need to be taught to memorize important contact numbers and information. Make sure that your child memorizes his or her phone number in addition to any phone numbers of emergency contacts. These phone numbers include those of parents, relatives, and any other family friends that can serve as reliable contacts during an emergency. If your child’s phone is not fully charged, the phone is lost, or technology simply fails, your child will always have the contact information memorized to directly get in touch with a trustworthy person during an emergency.

Avoid Texting and Driving

Courtesy of Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon

As your child begins to get older and learns how to drive a car, it is crucial for him or her to understand the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. Directly using a phone while driving is implicitly dangerous behavior. If your child texts while driving, their attention is not focused on the road and surroundings as it should be. Quite frankly, texting while driving is about as dangerous as drinking and driving, seeing as it impairs reaction time and places the lives of both passengers and other drivers in jeopardy.

Be Careful About Privacy and Security

Owning a cell phone grants children access to a whole new world of information and interactions with other people. Children must be taught that a cell phone is not a free pass to do whatever they want in the digital world. Any behavior on a cell phone, the internet, and social networks can ultimately be traced back to any user at any time. As such, children should be taught the essential lesson of never posting or sharing information digitally that they wouldn’t want to have displayed in the general public. Risky digital behaviors can have immediate consequences in the real world.

Never Talk to Strangers or Unknown Numbers

In similar regard to privacy and sharing, children should be careful about interacting with strangers on a cell phone. They should always remember to keep their personal information and passwords private. Children should never immediately trust anyone calling from an unknown number, and they should be taught that if a call truly is essential, the caller will always leave a voice message. Tell your child to treat interactions with strangers on a cell phone as if a stranger were knocking at the front door. Unless he or she knows the individual on the other end, your child should be wary to share any information with strangers.

Obviously there’s a lot more involved in phone safety for your children than just these four tips, however, these are definitely a great place to start. Children are influenced by their friends, and if you don’t teach them these habits early on, they’re likely to pick up other habits and ideas from their friends who might not be as responsible or obedient. In the spirit of preventing accidents or other emergencies, be sure to teach your children the importance of phone safety, starting with these tips. For more info on how to best utilize phones with your children, check out our other articles.

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