BANGOR, Maine (July 19, 2014) – In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents indicated that 13 was an appropriate age for a child to receive their first mobile phone, whereas five years ago this age was 15.1 Because the appropriate time can vary from family to family, parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone. To make this process as easy as possible for both parents and kids, U.S. Cellular recommends that families work together on guidelines for cellphone usage to ensure that children are using their phones responsibly, courteously and safely.
“Providing a child with their first mobile phone is a big milestone for any parent, and U.S. Cellular wants to provide tools to ensure this process goes as smooth as possible,” said Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England. “Mobile devices are an essential part of our daily lives and with a 4G LTE network families are able to stay connected wherever they live, work or play.”
For parents who are looking to purchase a new mobile device for their child, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips to help ensure their children’s usage is both safe and courteous:
• Establish guidelines: According to the same U.S. Cellular survey, 72 percent of respondents said they have rules regarding their child’s cellphone use.1 To help simplify this conversation, U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement provides customizable suggestions on safety and etiquette and shows how technology can enhance time spent together as a family. It is designed so that each family can choose the guidelines that fit their specific needs.
• Set up their phone: Take the time to set up your child’s phone to ensure they only have access to phone features and apps that are appropriate for their age. The U.S. Cellular Family Protector App provides safety and security by allowing parents to block certain websites and restrict the downloading of applications.
• Monitor usage: Regularly checking in on your child’s mobile phone usage can ensure they are using their phone safely and responsibly. The Family Protector app allows parents to monitor call content including text messages, contacts and call history. It can also set schedules and time limits for usage to ensure children are not using their device when it isn’t allowed, such as during school hours.
U.S. Cellular is offering free Device Workshops in July that focus on making the decision to get children their first phone. At the workshops, U.S. Cellular associates will offer families tips on setting phone guidelines and share suggestions to help with the decision. The next device workshop is on Saturday, July 19 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at 403 Wilson Street in Brewer and Saturday, July 26 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. at 33 Mid Mall Boulevard in Bangor. Please call U.S. Cellular’s store in Brewer at 207-989-3291 or Bangor at 207-942-5218 to RSVP to this Device Workshop.