Cell Phone Use Info

Cell Phone Use while Driving
  • Get to know your cell phone and its features, such as speed dial and redial
    Carefully read your instruction manual and learn to take advantage of valuable features most cell phones offer, including automatic redial and memory. Also, work to memorize the phone keypad so you can use the speed dial function without taking your attention off the road.
  • When available, use a hands-free device
    A number of hands-free cell phone accessories are readily available today. Whether you choose an installed mounted device for your cell phone or a speaker phone accessory, take advantage of these devices if available to you.
  • Position your cell phone within easy reach
    Place your cell phone within easy reach and where you can grab it without taking your eyes off of the road. If you receive a call at an inconvenient time, if possible, let your voice mail answer it for you.
  • Suspend conversations during hazardous driving conditions or situations
    Let the person you are speaking with know you are driving. If necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic or hazardous weather conditions. Rain, sleet, snow and ice can be hazardous, but heavy traffic can be just as dangerous. As a driver, your first responsibility is to pay attention to the road.
  • Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving
    If you are reading an address book or business card, or writing a "to do" list while driving a car, you are not watching where you are going. It's common sense. Don't get caught in a dangerous situation because you're reading or writing and not paying attention to the road or nearby vehicles.
  • Dial sensibly and assess the traffic. If possible, place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic
    Try to plan your calls before you begin your trip, or attempt to coincide your calls with times you may be stopped, such as at a stop sign, red light or in a parking space. But, if you need to dial while driving, follow this simple tip: Dial only a few numbers, check the road and your mirrors, then continue dialing.
  • Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may be distracting
    Stressful or emotional conversations and driving do not mix — they are distracting and even dangerous when you're behind the wheel of a car. Make people you are talking with aware you are driving and, if necessary, suspend conversations which have the potential to divert your attention from the road.
  • Use your cell phone to call for help
    Your cell phone is one of the greatest tools you can own to protect yourself and your family in dangerous situations — with your phone at your side, help is only three numbers away. Dial 911 or another local emergency number in emergencies such as a fire, traffic accident, road hazard or medical emergency. Remember, an emergency call is a free call on your cell phone!
  • Use your cell phone to help others in emergencies
    Your cell phone provides the opportunity to be a "Good Samaritan" in your community. If you see a car accident, crime in progress or other serious emergency where lives are in danger, call 911 or another local emergency number, as you would want others to do for you.
  • Call roadside assistance or a special cell non-emergency assistance number when necessary
    Certain situations you encounter while driving may require attention, but are not urgent enough to merit a call for emergency services. Even so, you still can use your cell phone to lend a hand. If you see a disabled vehicle posing no serious hazard, a broken traffic signal, a minor traffic accident where no one appears injured or a vehicle you know is stolen, call roadside assistance or another special non-emergency cell number.

Cell Phone Use for Your Child
  • Check your child’s cell phone records.
    Review cell phone records for any unknown numbers and late night phone calls and texts. While it may feel as though you’re snooping on your kids, reviewing their calling and texting records can help you identify warning signs such as strange calling patterns or unfamiliar numbers that could indicate that your child is communicating with someone they shouldn’t be such as a potential predator.
  • Teach your kids to ignore anonymous calls or texts
    It’s one thing for adults to choose to answer anonymous calls or text messages, but kids may not always know how to detect a scammer and may unknowingly reveal personal information that could be used in malicious ways. An anonymous call could be someone trying to extract personal information. An anonymous text could be phishing.
  • Be careful when sharing your phone number
    Teenagers may be so excited to finally have their own cell phone or smartphone that they immediately give out their number to everyone they know – or worse, publish it online on their social media profiles. Only give out your phone number to people you know for sure you can trust.
  • Does your child need that phone feature
    Parental control apps allow parents to exert greater control over the features and functions their children can access on their smartphones. Making use of these apps and other tools to restrict access to the features you deem safe and appropriate can go a long way in keeping your kids safe while giving you much-needed peace of mind. Determine what features your child needs based on his age. Does your 10-year-old really need web browsing capabilities?
  • Beware of cyberbullying
    Cyberbullying is yet another reason to monitor your child’s smartphone usage including call and text message records. While your child may not always tell you when they’re being mistreated by a friend or acquaintance, seeing threatening or bullying messages on your child’s phone will allow you to address issues before they escalate to dangerous levels. Cyber bullies, adults and children alike, harass others by sending threatening or rude texts to cell phones.
  • Set clear rules and guidelines for downloading media and apps
    Giving your kids free reign to use all the features on their smartphones can quickly rack up your wireless bill and introduce security risks to their devices. Downloading new ringtones or games can add unwanted expenses or hidden bugs. Set limits and rules about downloads.
  • Use a monitoring service for your child’s phone
    One option for keeping your kids safer while allowing them to use a cell phone or smartphone, is a phone or monitoring service that provides parental controls. Parental controls let your parents control how and when you use your cell phone, and who is able to contact you. With parental controls, you won’t have to worry about receiving unwanted calls or texts or the temptation to text during science class.
  • Limit your child’s time on the phone
    There’s much discussion about how much screen time is good for kids and teens today, and today’s wireless devices provide access to all the games, chatting features, web browsers, media, and apps they could possibly consume in a lifetime. Setting clear limits on smartphone usage will help you keep screen time within reasonable limits. Half an hour of screen time is recommended for children 4-5 years old; an hour for ages 5-10; and two hours for high school aged kids.
  • Search for the unknown callers
    Discovering unknown or anonymous numbers on your child’s phone can be alarming, but a bit of detective work can lead you to answers. Now that you know who your kid chats with, you can see if there are any messages that make you suspicious. If you spot a phone number you don’t recognize, do a reverse phone lookup to discover exactly who they are talking to. By searching any domestic number, you may discover the texter’s name, carrier, and address. See a name you don’t recognize? Get the lowdown on the mystery texter by conducting an online background check. Pull their criminal records to discover if they’ve potentially been convicted of anything serious, such as a sexual offense or other violent crimes. Being armed with this information is the first step to squashing your teen’s inappropriate relationship.
  • Be careful, you might be sharing your location
    Be location savvy: Apps that share your location with friends and family can be great, but be sure only the right people can find out where you are.
  • Keep it organized
    Always keep your child’s cell phone charger in the same place. It’s best to find a central location, like maybe the kitchen counter, or a table by the door. Mark the end of the monthly billing cycle on a calendar to remind her how long those dwindling minutes have to last.
  • Tape your home number on your phone (or a parent’s cell phone number)
    Imagine your child’s phone (or your own) is lost. Even if the person who finds it wants to return it, they have to go through your private information to find a number to dial. Make it easy. Tape your home number (or whatever number is suitable) to the back of the phone, along with information about a reward, if you like. That way, even with a password locking the keypad or screen, a do-gooder can get you your phone back!
  • Get a “School Rules” education
    Visit your kid’s school or school district website and pull up your school’s phone policy. Incorporate the school guidelines into your house rules.
  • Encourage your children to talk to you about their conversations with friends and experiences online
    Make them feel comfortable talking to you if they are made to feel uncomfortable by anyone through any service while using their device. Tell an adult you trust if you receive anything on your phone, a call, a text message, an email, a picture, or voicemail message that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Get insurance on your child’s phone
    54% of kids plan on spending their summer playing outside. With so many opportunities for their cellphone to become broken, stolen or misplaced, it’s important to protect their device with mobile protection, considering that nearly 30% of parents have had to replace a child’s cellphone in the past 18 months. This will protect their device against damage (including water damage), loss and theft. Ask your carrier about getting the most comprehensive coverage available for your device.
  • Model the behavior you want to see from your child
    Model the manners and behavior you want to see. Avoid texting in the car. Consider narrating your phone use (“I’m looking up directions to the party”) so young kids understand the utility of the device. Make sure to excuse yourself if you have to interrupt a family moment to attend to your phone.

How to Reduce Radiation from Your Cell Phone
  • Don’t hold your phone near your body when in use
    The amount of radiation absorbed by your head and body decreases dramatically with even a small distance. Don’t put the phone in your pocket or clip it to your belt, even when using your headset.
  • Use your cell phone for emergencies or important calls only
    Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you’re pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use may be especially important.
  • Learn about the potential effects of radiation on reproductive health
    Consumer Reports forewarn its readers not to keep their cell phones near their genitals. We have substantial evidence that cell phone radiation damages sperm in males and some evidence of reproductive health effects (i.e., neurological disorders) in human offspring as well as mice for females exposed to cell phone radiation during pregnancy. We also have preliminary evidence of increased breast cancer risk for women who kept cell phones in their bras.
  • When the signal is weak you should wait
    When reception is bad (such as in a rural areas or when you’re driving) use your phone for emergencies only. The weaker the signal, the more the radio frequency has to boost itself to get connected, increasing your exposure.
  • At night turn it off to lower EMF exposure
    This is one of the best ways to protect your immune system and, therefore, your dental health. Give your body a break by keeping your cell phone far from your head while sleeping. Invest in a landline if needed and turn off all routers before bed. There are lots of ways to protect your body’s critical restorative process.
  • Carry your phone properly when you must carry it close to you
    If you must carry your cellphone on you, keep the keypad position toward your body and the back toward the outside to have the electromagnetic fields move away from you, rather than through you.
  • There isn’t one cell phone that is safer than another
    Do not assume one cell phone is safer than another. There’s no such thing as a “safe” cell phone. This is particularly true for industry promoted SAR ratings, which are virtually useless in measuring the true potential biological danger as most all of the damage is not done by heat transfer, which SAR measures.
  • Read the fine print
    Buried in cell phone manuals, cell phone companies specifically instruct us that phones should not be held close to the body. For example, the iPhone 5 manual states “Carry iPhone at least 10mm away from your body to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the as—tested levels. Cases with metal parts may change the RF performance of the device, including its compliance with RF exposure guidelines, in a manner that has not been tested or certified.” The Blackberry Bold states, “keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.59 in. (15 mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers) when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to the wireless network. Without following these instructions, we risk being exposed to levels of radiation that are too high- higher than radiation limits set by our federal government. The reality is that radiation emissions from devices are tested before going on the market- with a space between the device and your body. For cell phones the distance varies depending on the manufacturer and is under an inch.
  • Don’t use your cell phone in a closed-in metal area
    Try not to use your cell phone in elevators, cars, trains or planes. Cell Phones draw more power, and emit more radiation, in enclosed metal spaces.
  • Avoid Electro Hypersensitivity (EHS) due to the location of an Electromotive Force (EMF) source
    Don’t wear metal-rimmed glasses when using a cell phone, advises the Center for Safer Wireless. Additionally, the Center for Safer Wireless suggests that you should refrain from using your cell phone in a car, bus or train. Metal reflects wireless radiation, and it bounces around you when on a cell phone in this environment.
  • Use flight mode when your smartphone or cell phone is not in use
    Flight mode turns off the wireless transmitter thereby reducing exposure to exposure to radiation fields. Make it a habit to either switch to flight mode or turn it off altogether when not in use.