Does your child need a cell phone?

United States
February 12, 2010 3:01pm CST
I know it depends on the age (and the age we live in), but does a child need a cell phone for safety these days? For example, if you send your first grader off to school, would you feel safer knowing your child can get a hold of you in an emergenct while at school? I would! I know people say cell phones and children don't really mix at such a young age, but there is a growing market for them, too. Giving a cell phone to a child could save thier life, and there is always the "What if?" factor looming over parents' heads due to school safety, stranger danger, etc. On the other hand, if we give cell phones to our children at too young an age, do you feel the move will turn them into little consumers in the confusing world of media and technology? Especially when the child isn't even old enough to spell his or her name? What is your advice on this matter?
4 people like this
25 responses
@qamarep (4453)
• Pakistan
12 Feb 10
yes these days the kids neeed the cell phones. also the gps gadgets in their bags
• India
13 Feb 10
Advent of new technology is good but if they were handed over to the kids it will be more dangerous. In a simple way those can kill the kids natural enjoyment and lose those valuable things which they have to enjoy in those days .That's what i believe and sorry if i hurt you friend
• Philippines
22 Feb 10
it depends like if the child coz my sister used to give cellphone to my nephew on his 5 grade school, she did it so his son can call him whenever he needs help or something. but theres a case in that school that some teachers took advantage of that and took their students cp by scaring then. or other older students will took their cp also by scaring them or perhaps outside people will took their cp. then one thing, its not advisable to let your children wear jewelries at school specially druing grade school coz like what happened to my niece. my sister give him a golden bracelet and she said that someone took it as they said bracelet is not allowed in school, since my niece have no idea about it and scared that she will not allowed to go to school and so she give it. besides shes still a child then and dont know what to do if someone scares them.
@ybong007 (6659)
• Philippines
18 Feb 10
My eldest is on first grade but he's more interested in getting a play station than a cellphone. But your right about the "what if's". Maybe i should reconsider giving him his own but then again it's likely to get lost since he has the tendency to lost things. At any rate, all his classmates don't have their own cellphones so i don't think it's a necessity at the moment. Someone fetches him everyday, so i'll probably give him his own as soon as he learns to go to school by himself.
@atv818 (1988)
• United Arab Emirates
15 Feb 10
Actually, my daughters age 13, 9 and 7 are all asking for one. I haven't given them yet because they still don't know how to take care of their things. They will lose even the things they value so much every now and then. I'll give them one when they are responsible enough to receive it.
@Bearballew (1149)
• United States
13 Feb 10
Nope. He calls when he gets home if one of us isn't here and has total phone privledges here. He is never to go anywhere where we don't have the phone number of the adult. We strive to always have a plan for going out. I survived without a phone until I was an adult, why can't he? LOL! I think it's a cultural thing, not a neccessity.
@TheCatLady (4697)
• Israel
13 Feb 10
I'd say at least half the kids have a cell phone by the end of first grade. By the end of elementary school all but a few have one. Most have better ones than me. Some of these kids have open lines and some have the pay in advance phones.
@jasmeena (850)
• Indonesia
13 Feb 10
My 11-year old nephew has mobile phone, but he never brings it to school. It is so dangerous for children to bring their mobile to school. My friend`s daughter was almost kidnapped after a woman approached her and her friends, pretending that she was from her school whatsoever, then the kidnapper hypnotized that girl with her friends. And after several hours, those little girls found out that their mobiles and purses were all gone!! Thank GOD that woman didn`t harm them. Just leave your kid`s mobile phone at home, and DON`T activate GPRS. DON`T let your kid access internet from mobile phone. So many bad impacts, from the danger of social networking site to games that are not good for kids.
• India
13 Feb 10
Yes !!! of course a child needs a phone because if a child is caught in traffic of returning late home.....may be she can tell her updates.Everyone says that"LIFE IS STILL WITHOUT A MOBILE AND NO CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT THAT SINCE IT IS ALSO LIKE AN ORGAN OF OUR BODY. !!!!!!!
• India
13 Feb 10
Hi towongfoo, I strongly tell our children's doesn't require a cell phone when are in primary or secondary school. We parent should inform the children's to be safe when are out for school and when they are playing. After completing there school and entering to the college for higher studies also its not required as most of the students are spoiling there career without reading and spending more time texting there friends and calling them. Have a great day.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
13 Feb 10
I think it gives everyone a false sense of security. If a kid gets grabbed, do you want him dialing a cell phone or kicking the guy and screaming? If the person puts a cloth with chloroform over the kids nose and mouth which knocks the kid out, most will check the kid for a phone and throw it. In some situations, the cell phone comes in handy. Like if a kid gets lost, that would be handy. If after the kid kicks, screams and gets away from the guy, if s/he hids and calls the police, it might work out, but the guy might here the kid dialing/calling on the phone and get the kid that way. If a kid is hiding in a closet and a shooter goes through the school, that might work out. The problem is, at that age, do they know when to use it and when to do something else?
@jeannames (305)
• Turkey
13 Feb 10
Cell phone is harmful to small children. I think we should not buy it
@Rollo1 (16817)
• Boston, Massachusetts
13 Feb 10
My son had a cell phone a couple of years back. It made him feel more grown-up like his older sister but he got into trouble when he would go to the lavatory and call me from there to say he missed me. So, I waited a few more years to give him another. It is a pre-paid so he can't waste minutes on calls that are foolish but when he goes to a friend's house or the park, I can call him to tell him when to come home, or he could call in an emergency. With the fears of child abduction that are generated by all the news stories, I think the cell phone is for my peace of mind and it's worth it. When he gets s bit older, he will have friends to call, but for now, it's just a good alarm clock, camera and mother-pacifier. He's 10 now.
@cream97 (29176)
• United States
13 Feb 10
I think that it is good for a child to learn how to use a cell phone at their age. I kind of think that, it should be only used for emergency purposes and not for personal reasons. A child should learn how to use any phone at this age, that way if something was to happen, they can dial 911. You are right! In this world, children need to have some kind of protection over themselves. Parents can't always be with them, and learning how to use a cell phone will be just the right thing that they may need.
@slbwyc (67)
• Singapore
13 Feb 10
I dont think so. i think children is too young to keep their cell phone. even the cell phone can to certain extent care for their safety, however they are at a so tender age and they still can't manage to use the things in the correct way. most of them just use it to do the unstoppable chatting with their friends and keep SMS meanwhile ignore people around. this will make them deviate from the right path.
• India
13 Feb 10
After i have a child i will give him a cell phone..... at a age of 17-18 (years) ....... child with phone..... at erly ages is not good for them......
@akotalagato (1335)
• Philippines
13 Feb 10
many parents give their children cellphones for different reasons. but i personally dont think your child will be safe even if he/she has a cellphone. it may even be more dangerous for them. there are a lot of cellphone snatchers roaming around and it may even put them in harms way. i gave my son his first cellphone at the age of four. i gave it to him as a teaching tool. to encourage him to learn how to read and spell. and guess what, it worked. he is now five years old and he can read the messages and reply to them too. he uses it to call and text his dad who is away frequently. i only let him use his phone here in the house. he is not allowed to bring it to school or outside when he is playing. now he is growing up to be very reponsible. he knows that a phone is expensive and he should take care of it. i guess the best thing is to teach our kids how to be reponsible first. if they are reponsible enough to take care of the phone and they are given an allowance of prepaid load which they know will run out if they dont use it responsibly, i think a mobile phone is a very good teaching aid. at least i know that my son has learn a lot from having a phone of his own. a parent's guidance is what is most important in anything we give our kids.
@nijolechu (1845)
• Canada
13 Feb 10
The child could always ask for help from a respected adult like a teacher or another Parent. They will be sure to direct them to a phone closeby and or a pay phone so they can make the call. I wouldn't give a cell phone to a really little child because maybe they will lose it. But if they are old enough to use the phone responsibly then it would be okay.
• United States
13 Feb 10
all it really depends on is how responsible you think your kid is because truthfully to me a kid does deserve a phone because they need to be social its just makes life more enjoyable if you ask me
• United States
13 Feb 10
I don't think my kids needs a cell phone per say but they do need a cell phone when they are out playing. I'm not of the school of fear where I can't let them play outside without my immediate supervision but I also know how to use the tools of parenting and technology to help keep them safe. I think an 11 year old is quite capable of having a cell phone just as long as they don't abuse the privilege, because that's what it is, its not a necessity like the marketing department would like you to believe.
• Canada
12 Feb 10
Now a days I strongly feel that a child having a cell phone will be a necessity. With all these wackos out there that want to hurt innocent children we as parents should prepare our children with all the tools necessary for 100% safety. I have two children and my daughter who is going to be 9 in September will be getting her first cell phone for her birthday. Then I can know her whereabouts at all times.