Nowadays, more and more children have a smartphone. Here you can find out at what age a mobile phone is helpful for children and which functions are essential (and which are not).
The following topics await you in this article:
- From what age does a cell phone make sense for children?
- What properties should the cell phone have?
- How much is cell phone time recommended for children?
- Which cell phone is suitable as an entry-level model?
- How do I protect my child from data misuse?
Many parents are critical of the issue; after all, children get along without a cell phone. Nevertheless, it cannot be dismissed entirely that a smartphone can be pretty helpful – for example, when lessons are canceled, the actual appointment has to be brought forward to be picked up from school. Or in an emergency, when a child needs help in a threatening situation. However, the question arises at what age it makes sense to buy a cell phone since most children are under the constant supervision of their parents at a young age. In addition, a smartphone has to be tailored to the needs of a child since the most diverse dangers lurk on the Internet.
From What Age Does A Cell Phone Make Sense For Children?
According to current statistics, around six per cent of six to seven-year-old children and 33 percent of eight to nine-year-old children alone have their smartphones. In the case of ten to eleven-year-olds, it is even 75 per cent – but they are topped by the 12 to 13-year-olds: 95 percent of them have an internet-enabled cell phone (as of 2019). However, that does not mean that you should orient yourself on it; on the contrary.
The general educational recommendation is that children should not have their smartphones before nine. A kind of emergency cell phone that can be used for calls but not for surfing, on the other hand, is legitimate.
According to the study, three out of five children between the ages of eight and nine are online (2018). The most frequently mentioned occupations of young Internet users include researching on search engines (65 per cent), sending WhatsApp messages (62 per cent) and YouTube videos (56 per cent). And it is precisely for this reason that the responsible use of mobile phones is essential for children – young students only develop an awareness of what is right and wrong with increasing age. It is all the more vital that you give your offspring access to the Internet between the ages of nine and twelve. You can control this using the corresponding functions in the smartphone.
What Properties Should A Child’s Mobile Phone Have?
You have to be clear about this: the younger the user, the more robust the handling of the cell phone. Accordingly, the first phone for your offspring should be as resistant to external influences as possible – for example, with a shockproof cover and a screen protector. To keep an eye on the costs of calls and SMS, purchasing a prepaid cell phone is quite helpful. Alternatively, there are also special tariffs for children in which you can specify how many free minutes should be made available to the user. In any case, make sure that your child does not “accidentally” increase the costs because you have to pay for the bill (legally speaking) in the end.
How Much Cell Phone Time Is Recommended For Children?
While parents tend to stare at their cell phones all day, their kids shouldn’t be too. Because at the latest when you give them Internet access, the temptation is great to surf the net for several hours a day. Since pronounced prohibitions unfortunately only increase the incentive to not adhere to the rules, you should explicitly agree with your child. In plain language, this means: Set a cell phone-free time every day, for example, when homework has to be done.
On the one hand, children learn how to use smartphones responsibly, and on the other hand, you reduce the risk of your offspring becoming addicted to mobile phones. Depending on how old your child is, the maximum usage time of the smartphone per day is from 30 minutes recommended for seven to eight-year-olds and accordingly 45 minutes for eight to nine-year-olds, etc.
Which Cell Phone Is Suitable As An Entry-Level Model?
The cell phone is an absolute classic: the phone conquered the digital market at the end of 2000 – and is still considered unbeatable in battery life. Apart from that, the cell phone is highly robust, if not “indestructible” (say loyal fans). In contrast to its predecessor, the new edition even has a color display and a 2-megapixel camera. And the best thing about it is: The Nokia 3310 has no internet access and is therefore ideal for children who should only be able to use the cell phone to write text messages or make calls.
The same goes for this cell phone, which your child cannot use to surf the Internet. The phone also scores with its ease of use and long battery life. The model is also highly robust and has an SOS message function that can be used in an emergency. Therefore, the cell phone is ideally suited for children when it is only a matter of making a call or writing an SMS. With a low price of around 50 euros, the Samsung E1200i is a good and solid entry-level model.
Cubot King Kong
If you want to buy your child an internet-enabled cell phone, the Cubot Kingkong is recommended. The smartphone is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof – this makes it highly robust against external influences. Thanks to its 4400mAh battery capacity, the phone lasts for a long time, and it also has an integrated GPS module in case your child gets lost and cannot find the way home. A little more expensive to buy than a classic cell phone, the Cubot Kingkong is still relatively cheap compared to other smartphones from Apple & Co.
This Italian smartphone is just as expensive, but above all, visually, it stands out clearly from the other cell phone: The colorful display is primarily intended to appeal to children – this has changed the appearance of the Android 7.0 operating system significantly. According to the manufacturer, the phone is suitable for six to twelve-year-olds, as there are various apps on the phone that are supposed to help students learn. The technical highlights include the integrated dual camera, the 2,000mAh battery, and the SOS function.
According to the dealer, this mobile phone is recommended as a sensible alternative for children between four and ten years of age. It has the advantage that the messenger function only works if the phone can use WLAN – ideally only at home or with friends. In addition, it has a rotating camera and child-friendly apps, which should be educationally valuable. However, the most significant advantage is that a child-safe web browser is preinstalled on the Kidicom Max.
How Do I Protect My Child From Data Misuse?
If you decide to give your child an internet-enabled smartphone, there are a few things to consider before you hand them over to them:
- If possible, set a PIN with which the cell phone must be unlocked – in case your child loses the cell phone and gets into the hands of a stranger.
- Explain to your child in advance which data they are allowed to save on their mobile phones and which are not – the same applies to all social media platforms.
- Set the apps your child can use. There are a variety of child-friendly learning and game apps that are age-appropriate and can be quite helpful in everyday life.
- Prevent your child from buying apps on their own to avoid cost traps – there are unique apps here that you can use to install parental controls in the web browser.
One more tip at the end: so that you always know where your child is, you can use a GPS tracker to keep track of them. This is attached to the pouch, easily recognizable (but not secretly!) and thus enables you to locate your offspring via smartphone at any time – with no distance limit.