My 5 year old asked me this right after a mobile phone safety event and I was dumbfounded.
“Well, I don’t really… I, uh, try to wait until I get to a stop light.”
This is partially true. I do TRY to wait until I get to a stoplight, but often find myself reading a text or giving a swift “ok” response on the road. Eek!
AT&T sponsored a fun mobile phone safety event in San Diego that we were able to attend. Knowing that mobile phones are a part of many of our families daily lives, AT&T decided that it was time to get the conversation started amongst families about phone safety. There was a short presentation, followed by a few fun stations that had parents and children playing phone safety games. MJ tried out the Texting While Driving Simulator, which shows the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. Yea, he totally crashed!
But cell phone safety is much more than texting while driving. Younger kids that are not quite driving age have phones, too. There is prevalent bullying, name calling, sexting, divulging of personal information and much more. We took the mobile phone safety pledge, you should too!
AT&T conducted a mobile safety study amongst families to understand their most prevalent issues with cell phones. Here’s what they found:
According to The AT&T Mobile Safety study:
- The average age a child is given their first phone is 12.1; the average age for a child’s first smartphone is 13.8, among those with a phone.
- Surprisingly, 90 percent of the kids, ages 8-17, agree it’s OK for their parents to set rules for their use of such devices; conversely, far fewer (66 percent) say their parents have actually set such rules.
- 48 percent of children ages 12-14 have ridden in a vehicle with someone who was texting while driving. Among those ages 15-17, the percentage of teens who have ridden with a driver who was texting increases to 64 percent.
- One in four teens ages 15-17 have received mean or bullying text messages (compared to nearly one in five reported by both 8- to 11- and 12- to 14-year-olds).
- More than half of teens ages 15-17 know someone who has received a sexual message or picture over their phone (compared to 39 percent among those aged 12-14).
- 58 percent of parents say that their mobile phone provider offers tools or resources for parents to address issues like overages, safety, security and monitoring. One in seven is not sure whether they have access to these services.
Please. Talk to your kids about mobile phone safety. Because who else will if not you? Be aware. Know who they are talking to. Help them make good decisions. For more information on mobile safety, to take the “No Text” pledge, and test out AT&T’s virtual reality texting while driving simulator at http://itcanwait.com/.
Disclosure: AT&T reached out and sent me this important info about mobile phone safety. No compensation was received for this post.