Maximizing utility and minimizing risks of cellphone use by children

Nowadays, smart phones are an omnipresent accessory for school age children. There are many benefits that kids gain from carrying a smart phone. A smart phone can be utilized as any sort of tool – from a compass to a calculator to virtual assistant.

A smart phone puts access to practically unlimited database of information at a child’s fingertips. It makes researching school subjects a breeze, on the way to school or during breaks. There are also many educational apps that help school kids learn subject matter in a fun way.

Of course smart phones also provide a convenient way for parents to communicate with their children while the kids are at school or after school activities. So even for parents who may be concerned about some of the negative effects of smart phone use by children, taking away the device is not really a practical long term option, as it essentially cuts a line of communication and puts the child at a competitive disadvantage relative to the kids that are using their smart phones as a study tool.

There are numerous pitfalls of placing smart phones in the hands of children, that parents are rightfully concerned about.

Many websites are in no way suitable to being visited by children, as they expose children to content that can range from age inappropriate to downright dangerous.

Then, of course, there are social media applications. While in and of themselves the social media apps are harmless, it is how these apps are used that can be a cause for concern. Bullying is a serious problem in today’s social media and children are especially vulnerable to bullying behavior online.

Additionally, while social media applications, when used as intended serves as a medium to make new friends and establish connections in the real world, when used maliciously can be exploited by predators and crooks, to lure kids into dangerous situations.

Another possible pitfall of smart phone use by children, aside from the dangers listed above, is that simply the devices can become a distraction. There are countless games and apps that can easily distract school kids from the academics and related activities that require their focus.

So it falls upon the parents to ensure that their children are using their cell phones in a manner that allows them to take advantage of the utility and entertainment features of the device, while safeguarding the child from falling into the many dangerous situations (and simple time wasting behaviors) that can be brought about by constant access to a smart phone.

Fortunately, there are tools that help parents with this task. Smart phone applications such as the one offered by can perform a number of tasks to ensure optimal and safe cell phone use by children.

From keeping track of the time spent playing games, compared to productivity app usage, to monitoring social media interactions, to simply keeping track of the child’s whereabouts in a discreet manner, such apps can help parents keep their children safe and productive.

Something to keep in mind when preparing to send your children off to school, in September, equipped with a smartphone.