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Mobile phone safety
Mobile Phone Safety:
Are Mobiles Safe For Children?

There are a number of concerns when it comes to mobile phone safety and children. With more and more children having access to mobile phones at a very young age, it makes sense to examine these concerns. Concerns about children and mobile phone safety include:

  • Radiation

  • Internet safety

  • Personal safety

  • Bullying

  • Mobile phone addiction

Mobile Phones and Radiation

One of the main concerns about mobile phone safety and children relates to radiation. Mobile phones put out radiation, though generally this is at a low level. Most health studies show that this is not enough to cause any damage.

However, there are two factors that make mobile phone safety and radiation a concern with children. The first is that they continue to grow and develop throughout their teens, which puts them at greater risk of damage should there be any effects. The second is that all studies admit that not enough is known about the effects of mobile phone radiation on young people to conclusively rule out the possibility of damage. For this reason, the Department of Health advises that children under 16 only use mobile phones when it is essential and that they keep calls short.

Internet Use

As mobile phones become more versatile, they also raise additional concerns for mobile phone safety with children. Many mobile phones allow users to browse the internet and download games, ringtones, and phone software. That potentially puts children at risk of downloading unsuitable content, which is something for parents and other to be aware of.

Personal Safety

Although it is useful for children to have mobile phones for emergency use, having phones with the latest bells and whistles also makes them targets. There is such social status tied up with having mobile phones that some people will resort to stealing them from other; children with mobile phones can even be mugged for their mobiles.

Bullying

Another issue relating to mobile phone safety is bullying. This is already a problem in many schools and can cause major problems for bullying. With the advent of mobile phones, bullies have new outlets to make life a misery for the children whom they target. Physical bullying may be recorded on mobile phones and sent to others. The practice is known as 'happy slapping' and some bullies have been convicted of this offence.

The anonymity of pay as you go networks means that it can be difficult to track down people who make abusive phone calls, another form of bullying and a concern for mobile phone safety. Sending frightening or abusive text messages is yet another form of bullying. With the last two forms, children can be bullied 24 hours a day, with no let up when they leave school.

Mobile Phone Addiction

Finally, there is one more issue when it comes to mobile phone safety: addiction. It seems that children and young people can be addicted to their mobile phones. They experience mood swings and become irritable if they are parted from their mobiles and may find it difficult to communicate when not on a mobile phone. Children in this situation may stop participating in activities that don't involve a phone and show other signs of compulsion.

While there's no denying that mobile phones are a convenience, it seems wise to pay attention to these mobile phone safety issues for children.

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