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What age should a cwd be allowed to carry a cell phone?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by ashtensmom, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Michelle'sMom

    Michelle'sMom Approved members

    Aug 21, 2009
    Dd got her first phone a year before dx, at age 10. I started working in a nearby town & I wanted the peace of mind of knowing I could reach her. We got her a pre-paid phone, & minutes were earned by doing extra chores.

    When she was dx'd, we upgraded to a phone that she could text on. When she returned to school, it was written into her 504 plan. We've always managed D through texting.
  2. AJMom

    AJMom Approved members

    Dec 7, 2011
    We were holding out on a cell phone until she was in high school. Once DX, CDE suggested it as a great tool. She got one last December when she was 9. She is really good about using it to txt, call with diabetes issues or questions. It is of comfort to us also that she can get hold of us easily!
  3. ashtensmom

    ashtensmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2011
    We were going to hold out until high school too, but as a cwd I understand how a cell phone would be tremendously useful. Unfortunately we are in Canada and cell phone plans here suck compared to the states. I will have to look into it further obviously but phone plans here are around 55 per phone per month. My hubby and mine already total over 100 per month so I can't afford another bill. I am still hesitant and will probably hold out as long as possible. If we got her one, I would want her to text me numbers, boluses, etc. and not use the phone option too much.
  4. momandwifeoftype1s

    momandwifeoftype1s Approved members

    Mar 4, 2008
    We told Connor (age 10) he could get one when he gives himself all his own injections during the daytime and learns to swallow a pill. So far, he's not motivated enough to do either task to earn a phone. We'll start with a parental control phone (like the one Carol suggested). I have a low tech phone myself, so he'll be getting a basic model when he gets one.
  5. suz

    suz Approved members

    Feb 9, 2010
    Our son is 7, he doesn't wander very far from us, but when he's out and about in the neighborhood he has a walkie-talkie so that we can keep in contact. It works upto a mile away .... a much cheaper option that a phone!
  6. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    My DD is 7 1/2. I just bought her an unlocked Firefly phone (bought it on ebay) adn put a pay as you go SIM card from our cell phone provider in it.

    I got it only for use when DD goes to summer camp this summer. The sound is kind of tinny, so I may get a different phone, but it will need to be one that is easy to use.

    We also have walkie-talkies that we've used in our neighborhood.

    I think this is a very situation specific issue that there is no one right age for...
  7. rutgers1

    rutgers1 Approved members

    Mar 4, 2011
    Matt got a phone as soon as he was diagnosed in third grade. It is more for me than it is for him. I don't want to live my life scared every time he leaves me sight. He runs around the neighborhood, and I wan to be able to reach him at a moment's notice.

    Just the other day, he ran out without having a snack. I knew his blood sugar was going to go low. It was great to be able to call him and have him return a moment later.

    We sprung for a smart phone so that I could load it up with lists of his favorite foods and their carb counts. I also wanted him to be able to look up carb counts if we couldn't get in contact. The smart phone probably wasn't necessary, but I am a tech geek, so once again it was probably more for me.
  8. liasmommy2000

    liasmommy2000 Approved members

    Oct 31, 2006
    Lia started carrying one this year. We are in a small district with NO nurses/health care staff. In elementary school she had an aide that helped her during lunch and came to the class for snacks/lows. We felt she didn't need that this year and having an aide in middle school could be a social nightmare (rightly or wrongly). I also didn't want her missing class as she already has ADHD and is disorganized and has trouble focusing and getting back on track after distractions.

    So I got her a cell phone a year ago (she also needed it for sleepovers etc). She started carrying it to school this year and it's in her IEP. It's on our family plan through Verizon and is set up with Parental Controls. Meaning I can restrict how many voice/text minutes she uses and when she can use them. During school hours it's set so that she can only call/text those people who I have set as trusted. Meaning, myself, dh and my parents/sister. She physically can't call or text her friends during school hours, the phone won't allow it. Because of this I had no problems with the school allowing it. I check that it's on vibrate every morning before we leave the house.

    She calls at lunch sometimes for help with carb counts and if she's very low/high and thinks she needs help in decision making. Also sometimes for gym class.

    It's worked very well and all of her teachers have commented on how well it works and how responsible she is with the phone and her diabetes. Honestly *I* wish she would use it more, sometimes she will make a decision that I don't think was quite right but she thought she could handle it. Nothing big thankfully, just a little off on carb counts etc.
  9. cdninct

    cdninct Approved members

    Jul 29, 2011
    My when-in-Canada phone is a Fido prepaid phone. I put a $10 or $25 card on it when the old one times out (I know that the $25 ones last for more than a month--maybe 3?). I'm not sure how texting fits into it, as I do not text a whole lot, but is much more cost effective than being on a plan!

    And I can definitely see why your dd needs one if she will be taking on so much responsibility for her care at school, but I can also see why you are hesitant. Good luck with the decision making!
  10. mollygolly

    mollygolly Approved members

    Oct 22, 2009
    I sent one to school with my DD this year. She is 7 years old. She is not the one phoning but the assistant at school uses it when she phones me. I think they are much more willing to phone me as it is close to DD and they don't have to go out of their way to contact me if they have a ?. Best $20 spent for the peace of mind.
  11. MamaLibby

    MamaLibby Approved members

    Oct 30, 2011
    Yup! This is what we do! My 8 yo and 10 yo take it when they go to the park (2 blocks away). I am thinking about getting my daughter one since she's starting to want to go farther with her friends. I'm thinking about a basic one for her birthday (she'll be 11 in June)
  12. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    This is my personal opinion--you shouldn't treat her differently now she has D. If you think a kid younger than 13 shouldn't have a cellphone, don't give her one, even if she has D.

    My other personal opinion is that kids don't need the distraction of a phone! With the exception of the kind of phone that can only call certain numbers, and don't get all the texting and other crap that kids think they need. If you want her to have a phone for the purpose of D care/emergencies, get her one of those. He is almost always within reach of a phone he could use to call me if he had to.

    I worry him having a phone would turn me into a "helicopter mom" and it would discourage him from becoming (eventually) independent with his D care. There will come a time *cringe* when I'm not there for him to check in with, and I have to trust that he'll know what to do, and actually do it. I know that time is a long way off, but he's not going to wake up one day suddenly able to take care of his D on his own. Not only does he need to learn to take care of himself, but I also need to learn to trust him (and have him know that I trust him). There's no trust if I'm constantly checking in with him. But if you give her a phone so SHE can contact YOU, that won't be an issue.

    That said...you have to gauge your child and your situation. I'm not saying anyone should or shouldn't get a phone for their kid. I'm just sharing some of my thoughts, or being "devil's advocate."
  13. dzirbel

    dzirbel Approved members

    Jun 24, 2011
    We bought our daughter a tracfone right before her 10th birthday. We bought the phone at Walmart for $10 and loaded some minutes on it. She is not allowed to call any friends or give out the number. She can text me her blood sugar numbers when she's out running around the neighborhood.

    Although, now I lost the charger for it!! Went to bring it on our vacation and now don't know what I did with it. :p
  14. jessicat

    jessicat Approved members

    Jan 10, 2012
    i second this.
  15. Joretta

    Joretta Approved members

    Nov 7, 2009
    My DD was 8 she had a basic phone with tight restrictions. No sharing her number with friends for 1 year, next year weekend only calling to friend, then texting was added for a year only on weekends. This was before diagnoses. I felt she needed a phone for me to have peace of mind and for her to have some freedoms I had in my childhood. Since diagnoses she has full rights at school to text me even though phones are not allowed because too many adults violet her treatment plan.
  16. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Feb 22, 2007
    We got Ab one right after diagnosis, but it was very restricted. It was a "meo" and only accepted 4 preprogrammed phone numbers in addition to 911. Of course that was 5 years ago. She now has a nice phone, but I have text and photo blocked, she can only make calls. I guess I am old-fashioned.
  17. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Personally, I'm fine with getting a cell phone for a child with D earlier than I would otherwise. The situation for a kid with diabetes IS different than for a child without, and acknowledging that isn't innately harmful.

    My son is 8 and we're probably going to get a cheapie pre-paid phone for him to use at camp this summer.
  18. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Sep 7, 2008
    Yeah, me too. You treat a child with D differently from other children in so many ways (giving them shots, testing their BG, etc.). If a parent feels like a phone is also part of diabetes care, then I don't see a problem with it. As for helicopter parenting, I see it as more discreet for the child to text/call a parent than to have the parent attend or not be able to do events at all. JMO.
  19. heamwdevine

    heamwdevine Approved members

    Feb 18, 2009
    We just got Anna one and she's 10.
  20. Illinifan

    Illinifan Approved members

    Feb 15, 2007
    Zach got his when he was 6th grader and started traveling for Show Choir.

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