Tips for Safe Kids

Wireless is changing the ways we live, learn and play. To help parents stay up-to-date on the latest

wireless products and services, CTIA and its member companies have identified the 5 most important things to know about kids’ wireless usage and created a sample family rules template.

The 5 most important things to know about kids’ wireless usage:

  1. Education Empowers Parents and Kids.
  • To develop the best family rules for wireless use, parents should educate themselves on how kids use wireless devices and services. Get the facts first.
  • Write family rules and consequences using the template below and post them in a central location in your home, such as the refrigerator.
  • Revisit these rules periodically as kids grow older and wireless technology evolves. For example, the rules for an 11-year-old may be different than the rules for a 14-year-old.
  1. Parents Choose.
  • When parents provide their kids with cellphones, parents may choose what services and devices are used.
  • Parents can choose a wireless phone that offers (or limits) the features for kids to use, such as Internet access, text or email, location based services, music or video and other applications.
  • Parents can choose the wireless services for their kids to use and how much, such as voice minutes, text messages and data (e.g., Internet access, applications, music and videos).
  1. Parents Manage.
  • There are a number of ways for parents to manage and monitor their kids’ wireless usage, including:
    • Service Plans and Usage: Parents control which service offerings their kids may use and how much (e.g., the number of voice calling minutes, the number of text messages and data usage for Internet and apps).
    • Parental Management Tools & Filters: Many wireless service providers offer tools and content filters that let parents manage if and how kids may access games, apps, the Internet or other content through their wireless devices. Smartphones may also offer built-in features to help parents manage how their kids use wireless devices.
    • CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB: Many applications offer ratings so parents may determine whether they are age and content appropriate for their kids. In addition, some of the parental management tools use content filters that directly relate to those ratings.
  1. Laws and Rules Exist.
  • There are federal and state laws that protect children and their wireless usage as well as how companies use personal information.
  1. Wireless is the Future for Education and Jobs.
  • CTIA and its member companies have also voluntarily adopted guidelines and best practices for consumers, carrier content, mobile applications ratings and location based services.
  • By teaching kids about wireless common sense and responsible use today, they will be better prepared to harness wireless increasingly for education and will be better equipped for jobs in other sectors such as utilities, health care, government services and public safety.