Do You Favor Restricting Smartphone Access for Toddlers? Read This Story

By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Are you one of those who sternly believe in the idea that early exposure to technology for kids is not a good thing? Do you disagree with the granting of smartphone access for toddlers? You might want to change your mind after hearing the story below.

Admittedly, this isn’t really a big deal of a heroic act. It’s not about a young boy fending off burglars or muggers. It’s just a little story of a little boy who happens to know how to make technology work on his side.

The Techie Toddler Story

A two-year old toddler was able to help save his mom from what could be a severe injury caused by dog bites. How? By knowing how to “FaceTime.”

Bentley Toone is just like any other two-year old. He loves to play and he is very curious. He is also fond of using his mom’s iPhone. This little Tucson boy became his mom’s hero when Laura Toone, the mother, was attacked by a dog in their home. Laura was trying to break up the fight between their family’s dog and the foster dog they took in. The foster dog turned on her and nearly bit off one of her fingers.

Laura’s hands were covered in blood. She couldn’t make a 911 call on her own so she requested her daughters to do it. The little girls, both four-year-olds, however, couldn’t proceed with the task mainly because of the shock of seeing their mother having all the blood in her hands.

Thankfully, Bentley stepped in. The young boy brought the dish towel to Laura. He wiped off the blood himself then called one of Laura’s friend on FaceTime. Bentley was able to contact Connie Guerrero who was a little surprised by seeing only Bentley’s forehead on the screen. Connie heard Laura’s screaming so she made the 911 call.

The medics arrived at the Toone residence and they were met by Bentley.

By Apple Inc [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Apple Inc [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Benefits of Early Exposure to Technology

The story above indeed supports the idea that there are advantages in exposing children to tech products even at a very young age. The benefits can be listed as follows:

  • Convenience – In the case of the Toone family, Bentley’s know-how in using the iPhone allowed him to assist his mom. Toddlers who already know how to operate tech gadgets can provide convenient assistance especially in cases of emergencies.

  • Being Prepared for the Future – For the kids, being acquainted with gadgets at a young age allows them to be well-prepared for the future. It can’t be denied that wherever they will probably be going when they grow up, they will have to encounter and deal with electronic devices and equipment. It pays to make them familiar with all these tech products at an early age.

  • Creating a Sense of Responsibility – Being introduced to gadgets while they are still young also provides a good way to start promoting responsible use of technology. Knowing what can be done and what should not be done with tech products is something parents can help children understand while they are still being monitored in their use of smartphones or tablets.

Risks in Introducing Toddlers to Smartphones and Other Tech Products

For many parents, it is common to restrict toddlers from accessing consumer tech products like smartphones, tablet computers, or personal computers. This is really understandable considering the many risks and actual reports of dangers caused by smartphones and other tech products. Whether or not a toddler is ready for a mobile phone or other similar electronic device is still a hotly-debated topic. The following risks should be taken into account.

  • Radiation and other Health Risks – There is still no absolutely conclusive evidence on the negative effects of radiation from mobile phones on humans, especially on young kids.

  • Electrocution and other Serious Device Problems – Real incidents of adults getting electrocuted while charging their smartphones, devices that induce fires, and exploding mobile phone batteries should be taken into account. You’ll never know when a defective device will suddenly overheat and blow up while being used by your toddler.

  • Lack of Sleep – Giving kids something they can be busy with can lead to the lack of sleep. Smartphones and tablets are common culprits in preventing kids from achieving the recommended amount of sleep.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle – Smartphones and other gadgets have the tendency to develop an inactive lifestyle or the preference for less active recreation.

  • Exposure to Inappropriate Content – Most gadgets nowadays can access the web. It is important to consider what kind of content (games, videos, photos) can be accessed by a young child when left with a smartphone or tablet computer. Parental control software can be employed or regular supervision over device use is very necessary.

By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The advantages of early exposure to tech products overwhelm the disadvantages. What needs emphasizing, though, is the role of parents in guiding their children as they use smartphones and other tech products. This is not an issue of whether or not smartphone access should be restricted. It’s about being responsible in letting young kids make use of smartphones and other gadgets. Technology has its banes and boons. It’s the job of parents to prevent the banes from taking over.