Cell Phones Aren't Toys for Kids

Cell phones aren't toys for kids, and their use can be quite dangerous. This is why you should pay attention and find a solution or alternative.
Cell Phones Aren't Toys for Kids

Last update: 02 July, 2021

Nowadays, more and more children from ages ten to fifteen years old have cell phones. However, parents shouldn’t forget that cell phones aren’t toys for kids. In fact, this device has become “a need” not only for adults but also for children.

Furthermore, kids ask their parents to buy them cell phones from a very early age. And, the worst thing is that they agree to it, and kids receive cell phones as if they were mere toys to play with. This is why you should be careful. Even though they seem to be a good entertainment resource, they’re not toys.

So, what are the risks of giving cell phones to children? Why can’t they be considered toys for kids? If you want to know more about this, continue reading.

Cell phones aren’t toys for kids, but they don’t know that

Children think that everything that entertains them is a toy. However, even though they don’t realize it, cell phones aren’t toys to play with.

Girl with cell phone.

“Toys are objects children use to play and to develop different skills”.

-Royal Spanish Academy-

According to this definition, anything children use to entertain themselves can be a toy. However, in real life, this is not true. In fact, toys are designed specifically to entertain and amuse children.

Even though sometimes, parents give children their phones, smartphones weren’t designed for that purpose. Kids aren’t mature enough to understand how a phone works and the risks they take when playing with it.

Risks children take when playing with cell phones

When playing with cell phones, children take many risks. In fact, these devices have become a tool for bullies and child stalkers. This is why social media platforms and texting apps are very dangerous for children.

Sometimes, parents use parental control to limit their children’s use, but this isn’t enough. The following are some problems children may face when using cell phones at an early age:

  • Memory problems.
  • Learning delay.
  • Attention problems.
  • Lack of self-control.
  • Impulsiveness.
  • Behavioral problems.
  • Addiction to technology.
  • Risk factor for substance abuse during adolescence.
  • Obesity risk.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Vision problems.

They can’t replace traditional toys

Cell phones can’t replace traditional toys, such as cars, dolls, balls, blocks, or any other toy that can help them develop their imagination and learning skills. Furthermore, little ones need to play role games with other kids, their parents, or pets.

Of course, we don’t mean they can’t touch a cell phone once in a while. But, if they do it, their parents need to monitor them and use parental control. This will reduce the possible risks they may encounter whenever they use cell phones.

Another important thing parents must do is to limit screen time for their children. In addition, they could download educational apps to help their children develop their different skills.

Are cell phones essential tools for kids?

Every day more and more children are asking their parents to buy them a cell phone. When their parents ask them what they want the cell phone for, they usually answer: “Because my friend has one, so I want one too!” “Because I want one!” “So I can talk to my friends!” Among others.

In the end, it becomes a vicious circle among children. Besides, many parents probably asked themselves whether their kids are mature enough to use a cell phone properly. We believe they’re not.

Why would a seven-year-old child need a cell phone? If they have one, they could receive messages their parents wouldn’t be able to control, because parents can’t supervise phone use 24-hours a day. In this case, children would be in control, and they don’t have self-control at that age.

What can parents do if their children ask for a cell phone?

When children ask for a cell phone, you have to tell them that it’s not a toy for kids, and you can also give them an example: “If the neighbor has a better car than ours, it doesn’t mean they’re better than us!” Therefore, if their friend has a cell phone, it doesn’t mean they’re better than them.

Kid with a cell phone.

Sometimes trends aren’t positive, and they lead to certain problems. This is why you should limit their phone use, and never give it to them on a whim. 

Some parents buy a cell phone for their kids because they’re ill or in case of an emergency. Other parents teach their children they don’t need a phone to live their lives, and they explain that, once they’re old enough, they’ll have one.

Every parent has the right to educate their children the way they think is best. In addition, they can buy whatever they want for their kids. However, it’s important to understand the risks that may be involved in cell phone use.

Cell phones aren’t toys for kids

Many times, parents use cell phones as a resource to calm their children down. However, they should realize that it only works for a moment, because cell phones aren’t toys.

Finally, it’s clear that each parent must decide whether their children should have or have not a cell phone. But, we think it’s better to wait until children become mature and responsible enough to use it properly.

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  • Rodríguez, I. (2006). Infancia y nuevas tecnologías: un análisis del discurso sobre la sociedad de la información y los niños. Política y Sociedad, 43(1), 139-157.