Some parents buy their children cell phones to make their life easier and safer; for example, so that children can call their parents if they need to be picked up from school or if they get lost. However, cell phone use can actually cause a lot more harm than what parents are trying to protect their children from. The physical dangers of cell phone use include electromagnetic radiation, children being distracted while talking on their cell phones and walking into traffic, and teenagers talking on their cell phones while driving and being involved in accidents. Several studies have shown a higher incidence of brain, oral and salivary gland cancers due to frequent cell phone use, with children’s brains absorbing twice as much radiation as adults’ brains. The researchers recommend that children use cell phones only in emergency situations and that they use the speaker option instead of putting the phone directly on their head.
Another danger of cell phones is physical and psychological. Cyber bullies, both adults and children, harass others by sending threatening or abusive texts to mobile phones. Sexual predators use cell phones to lure children to gatherings, and cell phones equipped with GPS are used to pinpoint the location of their victims. A good tip for kids is not to answer the phone or reply to messages if they don’t know the caller or recognize the number. “Sexting” is when people send sexual text messages or pornographic photos via cell phones. In addition to the fact that this is illegal and they risk being prosecuted for producing and/or distributing child pornography, children should be aware that once a photo is sent, it can never be retrieved, and it can be passed on easily. to other mobile users or posted on the Internet, causing extreme humiliation. To avoid this situation, talk to your children about never using a cell phone to take photos of themselves or their friends.