Summertime is great reminder of just how amazing mobile devices are when it comes to keeping children busy. Having grown up in an era of connected technology and the internet, kids these days know how to use technology like the back of their hand, and more often than not, better than their parents. With the constant exposure and access to information technology provides, it’s important to remember to ensure our youngest generation is protected and safe. Here are some mobile device safety tips that’ll make the most out of a child’s electronic playtime in the safest manner possible.
Activate Parental Control on Devices
Just like you’d activate child lock on a car so your kid doesn’t accidentally fall out the door, you should activate parental control on a mobile device. With parental control you can set a smart device to only permit certain content that caters to the interests of your child—apps, programs and search engines can all adhere to personalized guidelines to produce optimal content your child can engage with. If you aren’t on the same service plan as the kids to control this feature, try out the T-Mobile family plan, it offers some of the best family packages out there, especially for tablets, and it’s a smart investment that’ll help you protect your child from exposure to unnecessary or non-age-appropriate material.
Don’t Let Strangers Find Your Kid
A lot of mobile apps have a geo-location feature automatically activated. Turn off the geo-locator so outside viewers can’t see where your child is should you post on social media or other public forums. You never know who is looking and you most certainly don’t want any unwanted strangers knocking on the door looking for your child.
Keep a Balance Between the Digital and Physical World
Although it may be a nice break for parents to keep their kids entertained on that iPad Mini 3, Galaxy Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus, it’s crucial to maintain a balance between digital interaction and physical activity. There are a myriad of different reasons children should have limits to their time spent on mobile devices and digital entertainment. No doubt the thousands of games and shows for kids is tempting, however, if a child relies on these devices too much he/she may find more simple forms of entertainment outside of the screen to be boring, thus putting them at greater risk of attention deficit disorders. Furthermore, enforcing time limitations on the sedentary act of mobile play encourages more physical activities that are essential to obesity prevention and healthy well being.
No Texting and Driving (or Walking)
Kids emulate what their parents and older influences do. Make it a habit to avoidtexting and driving or walking and texting to set a good example for the little ones. The last thing you want is your child forming a habit of walking and playing a mobile game and getting hit by a car cause they weren’t paying attention to the street.
Inform Your Child of Social Influence
You can’t protect your child from all the outside happenings around the world, but you can keep them informed and instill values as best as possible. Many kids will be exposed to social media and may encounter things such as cyber bullying. Teach them proper ways to treat people and to avoid participating in any platform where someone is using a digital arena to verbally abuse another. If you kid does get caught up in this type of situation, make sure they know to get a responsible adult involved and understand that not telling someone could make for a dangerous situation.
When it comes to mobile devices, the world is a kid’s oyster. Let them get a taste of the freedom and fun technology allows, but remember that they are still young and need to partake in a way that looks out for their safety, health and future.