When should parents buy their kids cell phones?

When shots were fired inside the Perry Hall High School cafeteria on the first day of school, parents didn't have to wait for a note to find out what happened. 

Security is one of the main reasons parents give for arming their child with a cell phone.  According to a study by Pew Internet Research, 75% of kids between the ages of 12-17 years old have cell phones.  But do they need them?

Amy McCready owns positive parent solutions.  She says, "The best time for a child to get a cell phone is when he needs one.  So around middle school is a good time because he has after-school activities and needs to get in touch with parents.  Also when you think your child is responsible again.  You can set guidelines to use it safely and responsible."

Using a phone safely is the biggest concern for many parents, but through apps, you can limit that access.

It's especially helpful when your teenager starts driving. 

McCready says, "[There's] an app called drive first.  It allows your child's phone to be automatically shut off when moving more than 10 miles per hour.  There's another app called family locater.  Find him an interactive map."

Parents need to have strict rules on when and where kids can use their phones.  Make sure you stick to the rules you set.

Almost two-thirds of teenagers with cell phones admit to texting in class.  The same amount admit to texting when they told their parents they were sleeping.    

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