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What kind of cell phone should I give my teen?

Shawn Edgington
Pediatrics

For children aged between 14 and 17 years, choose a smartphone that your child selects (and fits within your family's budget) and then add the unlimited texting plan. Be sure to add a "parental controls" feature to their number, which will allow you to control when your child can text. The parental control feature also provides your child the ability to block anyone who harasses or threatens them by call or text. With parental controls, you will also be able to limit Internet access and the ability to purchase items from their phones.

Consider purchasing insurance and the location/zoning service for this age group. Consider limiting the ability to send pictures and videos by disabling the multimedia message (MMS) feature. If you let them keep the MMS feature, monitor photos and videos often, and, if necessary, contact your wireless company to have the MMS feature disabled. Limit the times of day (and night) that the phone can be used, based on the age, maturity level, and past performance of your child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.