A child’s first phone FAQ

What age do children get their first phone (UK)?

In the UK, the average age for a first phone is between 10 and 11. Usually before moving up to Big School.
ParentShield allows parents to safely provide a phone to a child younger than this – and ParentShield users start from as young as 5 or 6.

What is the minimum age to have a phone (UK)?

There is no minimum legal age in the UK to have or use a mobile phone.
It is a legal requirement for the Parents or Guardians of the child to make sure the child is safe, and can do no harm to others with their mobile phone. This can be done by providing a controlled and monitored ParentShield SIM card.

How can I set a phone to call home only?

All ParentShield SIM cards come with a powerful parent portal that allows the parents to specify which numbers can be called and texted, and which numbers can call and text the phone.

Should an 8 year old have a phone?

With a ParentShield SIM it is perfectly safe ( and normal ) for an 8 year old to have a mobile phone.

Can I block mobile phone use at school?

Yes. ParentShield SIM cards have “SchoolBlock” which allows parents to block all calls, SMS and mobile data during school hours.
While Schoolblock is active, Home Numbers can always be called and texted, and can call and text the phone so the child has the peace of mind they need while away from home. The phone becomes a security tool, and not a distraction.

Are calls to Childline Monitored or Recorded?

No. All calls from a ParentShield phone to the Childline number are never recorded, and don’t appear in the portal call list in any way. They also cannot be blocked by the SIM controls.

Can I turn mobile data off on my child’s phone?

Yes. Every ParentShield customer has a simple data on/off switch in their portal. Mobile Data can be turned on and off as needed, or can be set to turn off by time controls so it is not available after bed time, for instance.

What happens if my child loses their phone?

This happens. If your child loses a mobile phone with a ParentShield SIM, you can log into your Portal, and place the SIM in “Ultra Secure Mode” this means the phone can call a home number if found, but can’t be used to call or text anyone else.
We will send a new SIM card straight away and transfer the number and history over to it. We will then deactivate the old SIM.
ParentShield does not charge for SIM replacements.

Can a child have a contract SIM?

Yes – A contract SIM is arguably safer for a child than PAYG as it guarantees the child is able to call home and be called by home.
We have a blog piece with a few of the considerations here: https://parentshield.co.uk/payg-or-contract-for-childs-sim/

What’s the safest way to give a child a mobile phone?

Start early! Parents who start talking about mobile phone usage earlier seem to have a better success with the introduction of their child’s first mobile phone.
We have a sample Child’s mobile phone contract that can be downloaded and printed or modified as required. This is a good way of introducing and talking about the responsibility of mobile phone ownership.

What is the best first phone for a child?

For a first phone you probably don’t want to spend a fortune. There are many options – you may choose to provide a hand-me-down ex contract phone, or a basic “feature phone”. Read our Ultimate Guide to buying a first phone for Christmas

Will my child be able to be contacted by anonymous callers?

You can choose whether to allow withheld ( anonymous ) callers or not in the account’s settings.
Your child will be unable to be contacted by withheld numbers when Ultra Secure Mode is turned on, but they will be allowed when Ultra Secure Mode is turned off, if that is what you want.

Can a child overspend on a ParentShield SIM?

No. Never. It’s impossible.
No matter what the phone user does, it’s only possible to use up the monthly allowance plus any extra funds that you have chosen to pay onto the account in advance.
All international, premium rate, or text shortcode numbers are blocked permanently.

I want to buy a SIM for my GrandChild how will this work?

Not a problem. We can create a “Benefactor Silens” account allowing someone to pay a bill on the account controller’s behalf, but without Portal access. Please contact us to arrange this.