Are you a New Parent? Here’s How to Baby-Proof Your Phone

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Before your little tot was even born, you added special locks to cabinets to keep dangerous items out of arm’s reach. You padded corners, locked windows, softened floors and gated steep staircases. You baby-proofed every single room so your newest family member would be safe and sound the moment they came home from the hospital.

All of these tasks are incredibly important, but you need to add one more to your check-list. You need to baby-proof your smartphone and fast. The chore isn’t essential for your child’s safety, but it will be an effective way to protect your wallet and your emotional well-being. Here is how you can start:

baby sitting up

Lock The Screen

Your baby will get their paws on your phone. It’s an inevitability. They will smear sticky fingers over the screen, put the corner in their mouth and try to turn it into their newest teething device. If you don’t want them to send incomprehensible texts to your entire contact list or run up your phone bill with long-distance calls, you need to make sure they can’t get to your home screen.

The easiest way to childproof your smartphone is to lock your screen so that it’s only accessible through a passcode, either using a word, pattern or set of numbers to unlock it. To eliminate any risk of accidental unlocking, many smartphones offer the option to unlock the screen through fingerprint ID or facial recognition.  

smartphone on black background

Get Some Protection

It’s not enough to stop your kid from making random calls, text messages and purchases. You have to stop them from destroying the phone. Never underestimate the destructive powers of a child. If you need any proof, look at this Reddit thread about the most valuable things kids ruined — the thread is an impressive list of lost and broken items, including electronics, cars and precious family heirlooms.

Leaving it in their hands puts your expensive device at risk of scuff marks, scratches, drops and smears of mystery substances. To be safe, you should get a Prism to protect your favorite device like never before from drops and other abusive behavior from your baby. It’s a dual-layer hybrid screen protector that becomes practically invincible when paired with impact-resistant glass and strong application.

You should also consider getting a skin for the rest of the phone. The layer will keep the phone free of smudges, smears and scratches.

Disable Emergency Autocalls

Sometimes it’s way-too-easy to make an emergency call. If you’re not paying attention, your kid’s button-pressing could send frustrated police officers to your front doorstep.

Making emergency calls without reason has consequences, even if your child does it. As the parent and the owner of the phone, you will be punished. Parents can be fined or arrested for the trouble. One mother was issued a citation with the potential outcome of a $6000 fine and a year in prison because her one-year-old made multiple calls to 911. You could be on the bad side of the blue line when your baby treats your phone as a toy.

If you have an iPhone, you can disable emergency autocall from showing on your lock screen by going into the settings app and then into the Emergency SOS section to turn “Auto Call” off. If you have an Android, the best way to avoid this scenario is to get a lock screen app like CM Locker to remove the emergency option from the display.

Hide Inappropriate Photos

No one wants to scroll through your pictures from your last vacation or homemade brunch spread and see something deeply personal. You don’t want your friends or coworkers to see those pics, and you definitely don’t want your kids to stumble on them.

If you can’t delete the photos, at least hide them in a folder that nobody will accidentally browse. Android-users should know that Google Photos lets you archive any photos that show up in the main feed away from view so that you can tuck sensitive material away. There are also apps like Private Photo Vault that can keep your pics out of sight and secured with a password. A simple app download could make your feed look completely G-rated to anyone else.

The best way to avoid these problems is to keep your phone out of your baby’s hands. Yes, it’s a good distraction tool for those times when they’re fussy or when you need a moment of silence, but there are other options. Consider getting them a kid-friendly tablet just for their entertainment. That way, your smartphone will last you more than a couple of months.

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