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Like driving a car, using a smartphone responsibly requires a great deal of caution. Unlike driving a car, however, there is no age restriction on using a smartphone. The average age of children getting their first smartphone today is around 10 years old. Although there’s less physical risk for a 10-year-old using a smartphone than that same 10-year-old getting behind the wheel of a car, the consequences can be no less serious. By connecting a child to the Internet through a smartphone, he or she can be exposed to a number of risks, including cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, and even child predators who lurk on social media.

 

Even though the risks can be frightening, the reality is that most children in the United States will have a smartphone before they are able to drive, which means parents bear the responsibility of ensuring that their children are kept safe. Parents must determine whether their children are ready for a smartphone; establish solid ground rules regarding its usage; and take advantage of parental control software to protect their children from others and themselves while online. The accompanying parents’ guide to smartphones details the many ways parents can take control of their children’s smartphone usage and reduce the risks they will encounter.

A Parent’s Guide To Smartphones