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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?

HoneyDragon Sat 11-May-13 23:02:51


Iaintdunnuffink Sat 11-May-13 23:06:18

I gave my eldest a mobile from a youngish age for several reasons. I can't remember the exact age, somewhere between 6 & 7. We picked up a simple payg for next to nothing, loaded it with a fiver and didn't pay for any data. It was cheaper than most of the usual presents he was given by relatives.

I have no problem with younger children having access to a phone but would not pay £50 for one. We put a few numbers in, home, Mum, Dad, Nana. It took him a few minutes to learn how to call and taught himself how to text.

WorraLiberty Sat 11-May-13 23:10:48

Exactly Iaint, it's just common sense and so not a big deal nowadays.

I think some parents are thinking that mobile phones are something 'special' because they didn't have them when they were young.

It's 2013 though and there are very few phone boxes left in the world grin

And if anyone doesn't want their child to have their own phone, why not buy a cheapo and call it 'the family mobile'...there for anyone to take out should they need it.

gordyslovesheep Sat 11-May-13 23:27:39

ahhhh Worra the good old emergency 2p grin

WorraLiberty Sat 11-May-13 23:29:44

I used to get home late for dinner and pretend the phone box swallowed it.

But in truth, I would have bought 4 chocolate footballs that cost 1/2p each grin

<< Old gimmer smiley >>

SE13Mummy Sat 11-May-13 23:56:22

We've been picked to roadtest one too - DD1 (aged 8) is going to do the testing, not because she's out in SE London by herself regularly but because she thinks she'd like a mobile (a number of her friends have them) and there are occasions when it would be reassuring to know she could get in touch if need be e.g. the hour or so between finishing ballet and her next activity when she hangs around in the community centre with the others who are waiting.

We also go to a festival each year and last year, for the first time, she was allowed to go to from the camping area to the main stage area by herself and vice versa. She had our mobile numbers with her, knew where we were etc. but we had no way of contacting her. The 1stfone will be useful back-up this year.

I do like that the 1stfone has no digit buttons and, in essence, acts like the old BT chargecards. DD1 is very aware that walking down the road with a fancy mobile is not a smart move and she likes the look of the 1stfone because, "it doesn't look like something anyone would want to steal from me". She's right - it doesn't look like something worth stealing and, in any case, the numbers themselves can't even be accessed as they aren't stored within the phone.

DD2 (nearly 4) will not be helping to testdrive the phone.

angcas972 Thu 22-May-14 12:16:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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