The same cell phones that parents buy as safety devices for their children are the gadgets that pedophiles and predators use to “prep” kids for sexual encounters.

The remainder of this chapter reviews the downsides of child cell phone use and provides recommendations for parents to consider.

When a voice conversation is overkill, too embarrassing (such as in, I don’t want to say “Hi Mom” in front of my friends), or just not convenient, text messaging (also known as texting) really comes in handy.

For instance, a cell phone is especially convenient for kids who participate in after school activities such as sports or clubs.

If the activity ends early or late, or has been canceled, kids can call their parents to let them know about the changes.

Parents who allow their children to have cell phones feel secure that they too can contact their sons and daughters at a moment’s notice.

Many parents also feel relieved to know that their children have easy access to them and to emergency personnel if needed.

From a parent’s perspective, these are all good reasons to supply our children with cell phones.

However, the convenience that cell phones offer us must be judged against the hazards they pose to all people and especially the cell phone user.

Texting is the “killer app” these days which has eclipsed e-mail communication now considered among kids as “old school.” Even many parents admit that it is one of the best ways to check up on their kids, remind them of important events, or quickly communicate a change in plans.