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1st phone aimed at 4-9 year olds - good or bad?

(57 Posts)
Itsnotahoover Fri 10-May-13 23:28:38

Link here

Noticed a heated discussion on fb earlier about these. They are a very simple phone, pre-programmed with up to 12 numbers that can make and receive calls only; no texts, Internet etc.

My initial thought was what the hell does a child as young as 4 need with a phone? But thinking logically, it would be handy if ever you get separated from your dc in a busy place, if they're on a sleepover at a friends and just want to speak to a parent, or for the slightly older child who ay be playing out/walking to school on their own.

Now I know that back in the day, we had nothing of the sort, but nowadays there are very few phone boxes around should a child ever find themselves alone or lost (I know there isn't one in our village) and the fact you can pre-programme it with 999 could be useful for people such as me that are single parents with no regular visitors, just in I ever fall downstairs or have some other accident whilst alone in the house with ds (we have a very stiff key lock on an old door which ds simply can't manage, and I'm not sure in a panic that he would be able to operate either the home phone or my mobile well enough to make a call).

However, my gut instinct is still that it's unnecessary for a small child to have a mobile so I'm very much on the fence with this! What does everyone else think?

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 12:08:27

Most kids I know are given a mobile phone as soon as they're old enough to play outside in the street/park, so I don't see why this is different.

I'm not sure why they need them marketed specifically for them though...I just bought mine a £9.99 PAYG from Tesco.

gordyslovesheep Germany Sat 11-May-13 12:10:30

exactly Worra - these 'special' phones are £55 !!!

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 12:14:47

£55 fucking pound?? shock

One born every minute...

LadyStark Argentina Sat 11-May-13 12:15:02

I think the whole point is that a 9.99 phone would have the ability to text and possibly use the internet and could be used to call any number. These phones offer you a greater deal of control which is the appeal.

We are trialling one - have a 5yo DD and genuinely not sure how she could/would use it but think it's an interesting tech product so wanted to see how it works. Agree that the older audience is a good one, my grandmother could do with one!

gordyslovesheep Germany Sat 11-May-13 12:16:52

but by the time my child would need one she would understand she had limited text and talk time - so no worries and you can buy phones that don't have wifi etc

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 12:18:57

It's unnecessary though Lady

All you have to do is make sure the phone can't access the internet (and most of the real cheapos can't) and stick a fiver's credit on there.

The only numbers in the phone are family...for emergency.

mrsjay Sat 11-May-13 12:20:42

I think it it a silly idea rather than bad , what would a 4 yr old want with a mobile it is just a faddy thing imo. on the other hand a 9 year old could use it but it is probably a bit babyish for them it is all marketing isn't it

mrsjay Sat 11-May-13 12:22:43

* my grandmother could do with one!*

there is an old dearie phone I saw some old ladies use theirs to find their friend the other week in town it has big buttons and huge font -- i may need it soon--

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 12:24:40

My 81 year old Dad's got a phone with big buttons. I can't remember the make though.

<< Unhelpful >>

mrsjay Sat 11-May-13 12:26:08

is it actel ? i think it is

Itsnotahoover Sat 11-May-13 19:50:36

Doro do a simple big button mobile aimed at the elderly smile

Royalmailer Sat 11-May-13 19:57:35

I think the price is outrageous- it should cost around the same as a cheap brick, IMO. Like the idea though.

Maggie111 Sat 11-May-13 20:09:53

I think they're a good idea. There was a MN thread recently about someone at a sleepover who had an issue and couldn't call their Mum. It's not a something they should always have on, but I can see the occasions it would be useful and I would consider one for my child.

BoysWillGrow Sat 11-May-13 20:25:37

oooh the link you put up was for the testers. You can go through the options to make one and at the end choose the "free trial option" so i guess with the link everyone here could get one free?

Twattybollocks Sat 11-May-13 22:32:16

I actually can see the point of it, for my kids at least. We live on an estate of about 40 houses Most with kids who play out on the playing field next to the estate or are in and out of each others houses constantly. It would save me a huge amount of time and money to be able to just ring ds or dd and tell them to come home for lunch/tea/bed instead of sending a group txt round to say "whoever has my children please send them home thanks Twatty"
I do appreciate that mine is a fairly unusual neighbourhood that allows kids a lot more freedom than would generally be considered safe by most on mn, so for most kids it would be unecessary

noblegiraffe Sat 11-May-13 22:36:22

I thought the general advice was the mobile phones aren't advised for children because although the evidence is that they don't cause brain tumours in adults, the effect on the growing child's brain is unknown?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 11-May-13 22:43:32

interesting... we have just started allowing our 9 year old to cycle to the park to meet a friend (who comes from the other direction)

I seriously considered giving him my old phone so that he could phone here if he needed help but DH vetoed it.

I think in the summer holidays I will go down that route when it is a more common event. I see no need though for him to have a special one though.. my old £9.99 nokia from 10 years ago has a long battery life, only makes calls and texts and I can set calls in and out so no brainer for me.

LynetteScavo England Sat 11-May-13 22:50:09

Hmmm....as a product they are much better than other similar items (phones looking like little plastic bears hmm for example).

I would have considered giving DS1 one of these in case he was separated from me on a day out. He wouldn't have had the ability to ask a stranger for help. DS2 and DD probably would. If I had a spare £55 I wouldn't mind getting one.

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 22:50:33

Never why did your DH veto it? It makes perfect sense to me to give a child a cheap mobile whey they're going out alone/with friends.

I'm 44 and my Mum used to give me money for the public phone box in case I needed to contact her.

I can't remember the last time I saw a public phone box so it makes perfect sense.

I do think this is a generational thing and that the next generation...having never known life without mobiles, won't bat an eyelid at giving them to their kids.

Startail Sat 11-May-13 22:51:39

Why?
Both DDs had phones at 10/11 when I started just dropping and running at difficult to park dance classes, because they keep different holidays there is always the chance of mix ups.

Startail Sat 11-May-13 22:53:08

Yes DD1 vaporised, having a phone certainly wouldn't have made her better.

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 22:55:07

Lynette you don't need a spare £55

You can get a basic PAYG mobile for £9.99 and stick a fiver credit on.

LynetteScavo England Sat 11-May-13 22:56:04

WorraLiberty, it's unnecessary like a lunch box in unnecessary because you could just use an old ice cream box, or a handbag is unnecessary like you could just use an old carrier bag. Some things are just nicer. And if you have the cash.......

WorraLiberty England Sat 11-May-13 22:57:47

I understand that. I was just kind of answering your post generally, as you said your DS wouldn't have the ability to ask a stranger.

HoneyDragon Sat 11-May-13 23:01:58

When my ds was 5 he had a Firefly, so its nothing new. We worked weekends at festivals. It was lipped to his trousers and tucked into his pocket.

We had a safety drill, this was an extra precaution.

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