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Cell Phones For Kids - Smartest Picks

Apr 22, 2008
The decision to buy your child a cell phone is unique to each household and child.

However, once the decision is made you will need to sift through a variety of phones and service plans geared for children that have been developed in response to the exponential growth of this new target market! These plans are focused on security and simplicity for its young users. I will review a few reputable companies' offers and make some suggestions as follows.

Cingular Firefly:

This phone was the first specifically made and marketed for kids. This phone is designed for very young children. It has two symbol keys and no numeric keypad. The parent can set the phone to reject incoming calls from anyone but those in the phone book which they can program online. It is expensive. The phone is $119.00 and the calls are 25 cents a minute unless you are a Cingular customer. Also, there have been concerns as to the phone not being rugged enough.

Verizon Wireless LG Migo:

This phone has five number keys only each with an assigned person/phone number. Its physical design is suitable for tiny hands. This phone is equipped with a speaker phone option, vibrate mode and polyphonic ringtones. Notably, there is no setting to restrict incoming calls. This does give the parent a little more freedom however, to reach their child from various locations. The phone is an option for the Add a Line Family Plan at ten dollars per month.

Enfora Tic Talk:

The Tic Talk is the most non cell phone looking cell phone of the bunch. You talk into it like you would a walkie-talkie. The phone has been criticized for being inefficient as you need to hit a couple of buttons in order to complete a call and then keep in mind not to put the phone to your ear or it makes a strange buzzing sound. It has similar features to the Firefly and Migo such as only being able to dial a handful of numbers. And like its competitors, it is designed specifically for voice calls omitting text messaging, email, voicemail, pictures and the web.

The models that look childlike will not fly for preteens and up. So, in comes the big boy/girl cell phone (a regular cell phone) with Ace Comm's Parent Patrol. For an added cost of 2 - 5 dollars a month (on any participating plan you choose) you can control how many minutes and texts your child uses and set hours which are off limits. You can also block numbers and filter inappropriate content from the mobile Web browser. This is a great tool to use to teach your kids how to balance their minutes.

My suggestion:

For your grade-schooler: I would purchase the LG Migo. It has a rugged design and is small for small hands. It has a couple of cool features like vibrate mode and polyphonic ringtones. And it will not restrict the parent by being blocked when calling from a non programmed number.

For your preteen and older:

Add a line on Verizon's family plan for ten dollars per month, take advantage of the phone promo, purchase insurance for four dollars per month in case of loss or damage, subscribe to Parent Patrol and have a discussion about privilege, responsibility and the limits of cell phone use for your household!

A cell phone is a large responsibility for a child. Choosing the right plan will help you and your child limit the dangers and incredibly large bills and accentuate the positives!
About the Author
I have an extensive background in Finance and Fiscal Procedure. I also have a web business where I offer Computer Learning Software for Kids . I am very interested in the product itself as well as the subject matter that it involves. Please use the link above to visit us at The Software Spot! Thank you, Allison Merlino
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