Technology in school: Is a smartphone right for your child?

Technology in school: Is a smartphone right for your child?

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Kids love technology, especially smartphones. With the new school year nearly here, should you buy your son or daughter a smartphone? How young is too young?

We call them phones, but they're actually powerful little computers. You have to make sure a smartphone is right for your child before you buy one.

You've got your number two pencils. Notebooks. Folders. Rulers. Stuff you need for school. But what kids really want are smartphones.

"My kid is already using my smartphone. He won't get one for a long time. He is seven and a half and won't get one for quite a while," says mom Jackie Wheeler.

7-year-old Connor Wheeler says his favorite thing about the iPhone is playing games.

Should you get your child a smartphone? Aside from the cost, it depends on your child's maturity level. You can use the phone's settings to keep kids from getting into trouble.

"So basically you can turn off if you don't want your child to get on the Internet, you can turn off the browser, if you are worried about the camera you can just turn the camera off," says Ken Colburn of Data Doctor.

But those controls only go so far.

"Mom and dad have to be technology managers. The more sophisticated the technology you provide to your child, the more the burden is on you as a parent," says Colburn.

So what's the best security setting of all? Knowledgeable, sensible, responsible kids.

There are security settings for all these phones, and lots of videos on YouTube showing you how to use them.

Being an involved parent helps keep your kids safe on the phone.

So at what age should a child get a cell phone? A lot of you weighed in on the debate on our Facebook page.

Click here to join the conversation:


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