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Listening in on teen safety – some food for thought.

February 23rd, 2009

This weekend presented a couple of interesting articles regarding teens and their habits for using MP3 players and cellphones. No surprise for any parent (or acquaintance for that matter), teens listen to their MP3 players louder than adults and are rarely using their cellphones to talk but rather to text. While these issues are not directly related to one another, it is always a good time to reflect on how our kids are using their electronics and how we can use these reflections to set boundaries for safe habits.

Time.com featured an article on CNN this morning about preventing hearing loss from MP3 players. While this article mentions the iPod specifically, I think it’s better to relate this to ALL MP3 players and personal music electronics, including cellphones – many of which are now being used in place of a separate MP3 player. The Consumer Electronics Association has a great reference guide for parents concerned about this issue at their site, DigitalTips.org, “The Safety of Your Ears is in Your Hands”.

The Washington Post ran a piece in the Sunday Technology section, “6,473 Texts a Month, But at What Cost?”, regarding a local mother and her surprise about the number of text messages her 15 year-old daughter sent and received. It used to be that parents would be taken by surprise at the physical cost associated with texting, not having an unlimited texting plan with their carrier. The concern in this article was related more to the potential toll of always trying to resolve life’s problems in 140 characters or less. As someone who, though not in the same demographic, also prefers to text over talk, this piece made me stop and think about my own habits. For some great information regarding wireless kid safety, check out these tips from CTIA – the Wireless Association. Food for thought!

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