Tech Tips

The Savvy Parent’s Back to School Tech Guide

The start of school marks a busy time of year for the whole family. As a parent, there are a lot of decisions to be made about sending your child back to school equipped with the right technology to get them through the year. At Asurion, we happen to know a thing or two about these gadgets and have answered some of your most pressing questions below.

What’s the best age to get my child their first phone?
Back to school is a popular time for parents to purchase phones for their kids, a decision that leaves many families wondering “how young is too young to get a cellphone?”

Most children under the age of 18 received their first mobile phone when they were 10-12 years old (36%), followed by 13-15 years old (25%). Most parents agree that the “best” age to give their child their first phone is 10-12 years old (37%), followed by 13-15 years old (33%).

Shockingly, 6% of survey respondents said their children received their first phone when they were less than 5 years old!

How much time should my kids spend on their gadgets?
We asked parents what they thought was a reasonable amount of time for their child to spend on electronic devices. Here’s what we found:

  • About half of all parents set time limits for these gadgets.
  • Most parents feel that somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours is an appropriate amount of time for their kids to use these devices.
  • The number of parents setting time limits on their children’s usage of these devices has increased since 2013:
    • Mobile phone: 55 percent vs. 40 percent
    • Laptop: 58 percent vs. 45 percent
    • Tablet: 53 percent vs. 42 percent

Should I protect my children’s tech gadgets?
Since kids are using cellphones, laptops and tablets so regularly, parents should be asking themselves if these devices are worth protecting. Based on the data below, we think you’ll agree the answer is yes!

The following statistics may help in making that decision:

  • 80% of all incidents occur with the first 12 months of ownership.
  • Parents should make sure they know the non-contract price of the phone; this will most likely be the replacement cost while under contract. Currently the average replacement cost of a smartphone is over $500 and a feature phone costs $200.
  • About half (48 percent) of children under 18 have damaged a mobile phone, with 70 percent of those incidents due to physical damage.
  • 20 percent of parents have had to replace three or more phones for their kids over the past 18 months.

Check with your wireless carrier to see about adding protection to your kid’s phones. Parents buying their student a tablet or laptop can also protect their purchases (and their wallets) with Asurion protection, available at major retailers.