Thinking of buying a mobile phone for your child?

Some parents think a mobile phone is essential for their child's safety. In fact, apart from the health dangers, a mobile phone may bring other safety risks. Here are a couple of reasons to question the safety benefits:

First, mobile phones may dramatically increase a child's risk of being mugged. Statistics indicate that about half of robberies on under-17's in London involve mobile phones.

Second, recent research has found that 10- and 11-year-olds were less attentive to traffic and were involved in more collisions and near misses with traffic when using a cell phone to talk to a research assistant in interactive, simulated road crossings.

A rise in bullying by text has been reported and there is evidence of some teenagers having mobile phone addiction. Once a teenager has a mobile phone you may find it hard to control how much they use it. Some reports indicate teenagers may be spending up to six hours a day using their mobile phones.

Parents feel a lot of pressure to supply their children with a mobile phone for social reasons. But would you let your children smoke just because their friends were doing it? If you feel you have to allow them to have a mobile then make sure they know about the ways to minimise the risks. It's a good idea to tell their friends too as it will help reduce the peer pressure. Download a poster here...

You should also get the phone with the lowest possible SAR rating by checking at one of the websites that provide this information, such as SAR Values and Mobile Health.

Read more about SAR values...

What the government is saying about children using mobile phones...