Mobile Device Safety
Today, many kids and teens have mobile devices like phones, iPods, and tablet computers. Because they may keep these devices with them all the time, it's important to know how to use them safely. If your kids use any type of mobile device, you should talk to them about the dangers.
If a teen receives a text message while driving, it's tempting to respond to it immediately. However, this is extremely dangerous and often illegal. Even if the teen just looks down for a second, he or she could easily get into a serious accident. The safest thing to do is wait until the car is stopped before responding.
Of course, smartphones can do a lot more than just texting. They also let you browse the Internet, send emails, and use social networking apps. Doing any of these things while driving can cause a wreck, just as texting can.
To learn about the dangers of texting while driving, watch The Last Text, a 10-minute documentary created by AT&T.
It can also be dangerous to text while walking because it makes it more difficult to notice approaching cars or obstacles. It's important for your kids to avoid using their mobile devices in any situation where they need to stay alert.
With most mobile phones, it's easy to take photos and send them to friends. Because teens and preteens are curious and want to experiment, many of them take nude or sexual photos and send them to their boyfriends or girlfriends. This is known as sexting. It's important for your kids to know that sexting can have serious consequences.
In many states, teens who engage in sexting can be prosecuted for child pornography. If convicted, teens may have to spend time in prison and register as sex offenders. This will also make it more difficult for them to find jobs or get into college. As you can see, the consequences of sexting can affect your children's lives for many years.
Many teens believe sexting is innocent or that they won't get caught. However, photos can easily be shared online or over mobile phones, so they could be seen by anyone. You should make sure your kids know how serious the consequences can be.
Thinkuknow.co.uk is an educational website created by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. To learn more about the dangers of sexting, watch the video.