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Gadget Safety for Older Kids and Young Teens

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 May 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Gadget Safety Child Tweens Mobile Phone

In today’s technological world, it’s a natural part of life for older children and young teenagers (commonly known as tweens) to have gadgets. In many ways, gadgets such as mobile phones can help give them a safety edge, yet having the latest and greatest mobiles can also put them at risk of danger. So how do you address the balance and ensure their safety is maintained?

The advent of Mobile Phones has meant that parents can be in touch with their tweens more than they could in the past. When they’re out and about, tweens with a mobile can let parents know where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. If plans change, or you’re going to be late to pick them up, you can send a text or give them a ring and let them know. There are even tracking devices that can be used in conjunction with their phones to let you know where they are without them even knowing!

Whilst technology has helped bring about an extra degree of security for both tweens and their parents, it’s also brought with it extra dangers, too. Some tweens clamour to have the newest and best mobile phones to out do their friends and gain street cred. But while it may help them look good, a flashy phone can also attract unwanted attention.

Your Child and Mobile Phone or Gadget Theft

Mobile theft among tweens is a key concern, and there have been numerous cases where tweens – and teens – have been targeted because of their phones. It’s not just mobiles that are an issue – other fancy gadgets, such as handheld Games Consoles, also can be a target.

Due to the nature of mobile phone or gadget theft among older children and teenagers, it’s worth carefully weighing up the pros and cons when you’re choosing which model to buy or what you’re happy letting your child carry when they’re out and about. Although their street cred may be raised by having the best gadget, is their safety worth the risk?

Developing a Strategy for Personal Safety When Using Gadgets

Children can be totally oblivious to the dangers they put themselves in by using their mobile phone or gadget in a crowded public place, so it’s worth chatting to them about this. You don’t want to scare them or put them completely off using gadgets in public places, but there’s no harm in helping them realise the benefits of being discreet when doing so.

For example, rather than boisterously getting out their new mobile phone while in the middle of a large crowd at a train or bus station on the way home from school, your child could have a go at using it in a quiet corner or texting a message with the gadget mostly hidden by their school bag.

You might also like to discuss strategies for dealing with a potential theft or gang attack, should the worst possible scenario occur. For example, although your tweens natural instinct may be to hang onto their gadget no matter what, when their safety is in question, it may be better to let the gadget go and remain physically unharmed themselves.Finally, you should reiterate the importance of Road Safety and mobile phones. Using a mobile phone can be very distracting, so make your child never uses the phone when they are crossing the road.

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