Should you buy your child a smartphone?

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Are you wondering whether to buy a smartphone for your child? See the pros and cons and tips for choosing a device.

oday, many children get their first smartphone at the age of 11–12  or even earlier. Most of them wear it until they graduate from high school. Peer pressure plays a role here, and children who do not have a phone can see that most of them are staring at the screen. However, the decision is yours, and in this post we will present the pros and cons of buying, as well as give you some tips to choose the right gadget.

Only you know if your child needs a phone and is responsible enough to have one. The purchase of a smartphone for a child has certain consequences.

Smartphone for a child: minuses

Let’s start with the cons. On the one hand, experts agree that the excessive use of such gadgets by children adversely affects their health and development. If your child takes a night out on a smartphone, he or she may develop sleep problems , and cell phones are worse than television in this regard.

A child stuck to the phone for hours may develop myopia, incorrect posture, and even breathing problems . Other common disorders affecting school-age children are concentration deficit and hyperactivity: as electronic devices become more popular , the number of diagnoses of ADHD increases . There are also more indirect dangers: If your child is staring at the screen and not in front of him, he or she risks an accident.

Also, if your child spends too much time with their device, it can have a negative impact on learning, relaxation and social relationships. Teachers may also be exposed to the device during lessons. Of course, mobile phones are not the cheapest, and children, as not always responsible owners, can easily damage or lose them.

Smartphone for a child: pluses

If, on the one hand, you carefully limit your child’s time spent with the smartphone,  you can limit its harmful aspects . If you give your child the device, you are in contact with them, you are less worried when they are away from home, and you know if they are at school or in after-school activities.

A smartphone can be not only entertainment; it can also give your child easy access to electronic dictionaries and other useful applications that can help with school assignments.

Searching for information on the internet increases your knowledge, and using photo and video options can increase your creativity. If a child learns how to use electronic map navigation, they will be able to find their way when they get lost. There is also an element of social pressure: if everyone in the class has a telephone, the child may feel alienated.

As you can see, there are strong arguments for and against giving a child a smartphone. The decision is yours. However, even if you decide to postpone the purchase, it will still be a matter of time. That is why it is worth talking about him now.

Which phone to choose for a child in primary school

You’ll likely give in sooner or later. Then another question will appear: which phone should you choose for your child? The cheapest option is to give him one of our own devices that we no longer use. In case of loss or damage, the losses will not be so great. However, there are also downsides to this decision.

First of all, the operating system on such a smartphone is probably already outdated, and in many cases there is no cure for it. This is a major security and application compatibility issue.

Second, the batteries in many older smartphones don’t last very long on a single charge. You certainly don’t want to give your child a smartphone that you can’t reach when needed.

Third, although this is a completely subjective opinion, few children will be happy with the older gadget.

So if you can afford it, buy your child a new device. The next step is to decide whether it will be an iPhone or an Android device.

Smartphone for a child: iPhone

Apple branded devices are generally more reliable and have parental controls built in .
If you’re already a user of a device from that company, giving your child such a device will be an easier choice than dealing with Apple-Android compatibility.

However, iPhones are not cheap. Buying a new device every time it is damaged or lost can be costly.

In addition, iPhones attract the attention of people who… like other people’s things. Someone may secretly take an iPhone from a child’s pocket or even rob it. Therefore, choosing an iPhone for a child is not an easy decision.

Smartphone for a child: Android

Giving your child an Android device is certainly a cheaper option, or at least until they learn to properly care for the gadget. Android also offers more possibilities. Some devices are even splash-proof.

Devices with this system also offer greater flexibility when it comes to parental controls. Apple believes that the built-in child protection features are sufficient and restricts the use of third-party software. Meanwhile, Google encourages competition. As a result, Android applications that can help keep children safe are easier to use and have a richer set of features.

What else is worth considering when choosing a phone for a child

Now we will tell you about a few important features that should be considered when it comes to a smartphone for a child.

The display is probably the most important factor in the usability of the telephone. We usually look for a decent quality that includes high resolution and vivid colors, among other things. Next, consider the screen size: more precisely, a model with a screen of at least 4.5 inches. A screen that is too small can fatigue your eyes and make it uncomfortable to use applications because they are usually designed for larger displays.

Do not be afraid of phablets, which children can get used to quickly. However, you’d better avoid these fashionable displays with curved edges; they crack easily and are quite expensive to replace. In general, the less glass a smartphone has, the better – and the cheaper it is to repair.

Whatever you decide, if your child is already using the smartphone or will be using it in the near future, buy a suitable case right away, the edges of which stick out beyond the screen. Children are more likely to drop their phones than adults. The protective glass on the screen will not hurt either. And it’s best to buy both the case and the glass right away. Do not order items online – it happens that the device is damaged before the delivery arrives.

Battery capacity is the second important factor. The bigger it is, the better. Don’t expect your child to charge the device regularly, since even adults forget about it.

The third factor is memory. Likewise, the bigger the better. Children don’t think about cleaning memory regularly, so on their devices it ends faster. A memory card slot is useful – thanks to it you can easily and inexpensively increase the memory of the device.

In addition, think about what you care about the most. It is definitely worth checking the performance of the GPS module. In most smartphones it works flawlessly, but in some weaker models the reception of the satellite signal is poor. If you want to be able to check where your child is at any time, read user reviews on the forums about your chosen model; if the GPS is not very smooth in it, surely someone will mention it.

The newer Android version your phone has, the better. Older versions have more security problems. Buying a smartphone with Android One is a good choice . First, devices that are part of the Android One program receive updates more regularly. Secondly, these smartphones have a pure Android system installed, with no unnecessary extras. It is more reliable, provides greater security and is more fun to use.

Setting up a smartphone for a child

If you decide that your child can and should already have a smartphone, after selecting the correct model, take the time to secure it properly before giving it away.

  • Install a reliable parental control app . No matter what mobile platform you choose and what built-in tools your phone has, the additional capabilities won’t hurt.
  • If you choose an Android smartphone, install an effective mobile antivirus . Phones used by children must be properly protected against dangers.
  • Configure the phone so that you can check the safety of children without observing their private life or relationships.