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Daily Q&A: What tips do you have for a cell phone for a child?

I'm looking for a cell phone for my child to have for safety and emergencies during the school year. What tips do you have for finding the right phone for a child?

Here are some suggestions from Kelly Starling, a spokeswoman at AT&T, about choosing a cell phone for your child:

• Take a cell assessment to determine the plan that best meets your family's needs, including minutes needed each month, how many months of service, and the number of household members on the plan.

• Consider what time of day your child will be using the cell phone the most and how he or she will be using it. Will it be mostly to text, to make voice calls or to surf the Web? And be sure the service works where your child needs to use it. Check coverage maps and test coverage during a trial period with your provider.

• Check prepaid options and parental controls that allow you to put restrictions on the account if cost is a big concern. Example: Smart Limits parental controls ( www.att.com/Common/about_us/files/pdf/Safety/Smart_Limits_Wireless_How-to.pdf).

• Consider location-based services that allow you to keep track of your child. Example: FamilyMap ( https://familymap.wireless.att.com/finder-att-family/welcome.htm).

• If your child is headed out of state for a private school, college or study abroad program, make sure they have an appropriate plan to avoid roaming charges and have functions that allow international calls, if needed.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: What tips do you have for a cell phone for a child? 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 12:01pm]
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