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Dr David Coleman: Your child is unlikely to tell you if they are exploited online – monitoring smartphones is a non-negotiable

It’s important for parents to establish rules to manage youngsters’ phone use as soon as devices are introduced

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One non-negotiable rule worth establishing is that you have access to all of your child’s passwords and pin codes. Stock image

One non-negotiable rule worth establishing is that you have access to all of your child’s passwords and pin codes. Stock image

One non-negotiable rule worth establishing is that you have access to all of your child’s passwords and pin codes. Stock image

Many primary schools will be planning a graduation or celebration of their pupils as they head for secondary school next September. At the same time, those children who don’t yet have a smartphone will be pushing hard to get one before term ends and their friends move on for the summer.

Estimates are that 40pc of nine-year-olds have phones, so the number without phones by age 12 is ever decreasing. By the age of 13, 97pc of children in Ireland have a smartphone. That suggests a lot of smartphones will be bought in the very near future and so it is a timely moment to think about what the likely dangers are for children receiving a mobile phone, and the rules you might want to establish to manage their phone use in the early stages.


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