Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Kyd's 1stFone - For Emergency's and Beyond

So we recently had the pleasure of speaking with the clever folks at 1stFone, a mobile phone that connects your child with the most important people in their life – and that’s it. No games, No internet, No accidentally calling the doctors, their nan or the neighbour 2 doors down. Just the names and numbers stored on separate, simple, easy to read buttons.

It is literally as simple as that.

I know, I know...

A phone??? He's only 10...

But I read up on it, spoke to people about the concept, then decided that as a mother of a disabled child, it was probably the best emergency, safety, yet fun idea I've come across in ages and that was actually the general thoughts of all I spoke to. Not only from SEN parents but from parents in general.

Buying a phone for a child of primary school is frowned upon. It makes them a target for street crime, if it's a smart phone it makes them vulnerable to online idiots and has recently been in the news that Smart Phones have been the main cause of suicide over online bullying in the past decade. 

No parent wants that.

Every parent though, wants their kids to be safe and being able to have contact with them helps us know that in an emergency or when out and about if they get lost, they can reach us.... It is such a hard task to pick between the pro's and con's of your child having a mobile phone as a parent and it is one we all have to come across eventually as they get older.

For parents of children with SEN, this is a harder task. Our children are vulnerable and having a phone would both benefit and hinder their lives in my opinion. Whilst I like to think the best of people, I know that there are some idiots out there that would prey on our children and take a smart phone right out of their hands and they wouldn't do anything about it because they'd think they couldn't. Kyd would probably just hand it over to someone if they asked to see it and off they'd go phone in and all, leaving Kyd phoneless and upset. Then there's the internet... Don't get me started on that.

This upsets me. I hate the idea of having to hold back on getting a phone for their own safety just because of other people's actions.

Anyway this is for me  
The pro's of our Kyd and other SEN kids having a 1stFone.
  • For the parents of 'Runners', this would mean you could contact them if they run off. 
  • For the parents of kids with 'Speech and Language' issues, where only you can understand them and where anyone who found them couldn't get a sentence out of them, it would help them calm them down and find you.
  • For the parents who have 'Respite Care' or overnight stays away from home, this would give them contact with you if they become distressed, making a hard situation much easier.
  • For the parents whose children have long trips with 'School Transport' and get upset leaving home. Easy and simple way of calming a situation.
  • For the parents of children with 'Anxiety Problems' this is a comfort for both you and them.
  • For parents of children with 'Health Issues' stay in contact in case of emergency and have access to 999 at all times.
  • For parents of children who have 'Problems at School' teachers can help your child get in contact with you at the touch of a button and in the comfort of their space, wherever that may be, rather than the school office.
  • For parents of children who have 'Long Stays in Hospital', keep in touch on those trips home to get freshened up and the rest of the family and friends get to keep in touch too.
 In general for ALL children SEN or not...
  • For kids with parents who are separated, keep in contact with them and them with you, without contact with the ex... always a bonus.
  • For kids who have grandparents and family members who live far away let them stay in contact for those special moments where only Grandad will understand.
  • For parents who take their kids to big events like Festivals, Theme Parks, Football matches, UK holidays and so on.
Perfect for us I thought.
So we went over to the 1stFone website and looked into it more. 

What We Thought
 Kyd had loads of fun designing his phone it was amazing. They even do Photo buttons now which instead of the names of the people they call it's their faces. Perfect for children who struggle to read. 
Picking the names of who he had on it - We picked the people closer to home so if he got lost in town he could ring the people who could get him. We also had Nanny & Grumps on their as he loves them and they are so far away he can now reach them when he wants to. We clicked yes on the 999 button as he knows only to use it in an emergency. I think this should only be used for children who know the difference between what calling 999 means as it can get them into trouble otherwise.
He was even more excited when it turned up and he instantly phoned Grumps and Nanny and found it really easy to use. The fact it comes fully charged also really helped as he was straight on it and charging it would have been a nightmare trying to explain he couldn't play for ages.
We have used it loads since getting it.
Trips to town
Thorpe Park
We have really put it to the test. It has been lovely as I found it quite relaxing knowing he had it. Plus when my phone died at the end of the day at Thorpe Park I had that to call Hoff on... hahahaha.

More about the actual phone...
This is the info they have on their website. I thought it summed it perfectly so that I couldn't write it any better so thought I'd just quote them. Here is what they say.

Made for you
• It's fun and easy to design your 1stFone on this website.
• Design it with your child or create a style for them.
• When you're happy with your design, we make it for you.
Your 1stFone is delivered ready to use in a few days time.
The 1stFone comes in a wide range of colours and styles.
You can have two, four, eight or twelve Name buttons.
For ease of use, the buttons get bigger the fewer you have.
Small and light
1stFone is credit card sized and only 7mm thick.
It’s extremely lightweight at only 40 grams.
Wear it around the neck or tuck it in a small pocket.
Easy to use
• 1stFone arrives ready-to-use straight out of the box.
Simply press a Name button to make a call.
Press the Answer button to receive a call.
Long life
Use 1stFone regularly and charge every few days or put it in
   shut down mode and the battery will last up to one year.

1stFone will only call your telephone numbers, so it
   has very little value to anyone else.
Your phone numbers are not stored in the 1stFone.
They're stored in a secure computer server, so if your
    1stFone is lost or stolen your numbers are protected.

Good value
• A personalised 1stFone handset is available from £55.
OwnFone is the only made-to-order handset in the world.
OwnFone is available on a range of affordable price plans.
Flexible ways to pay
Choose from Pay As You Go or Pay Monthly price plans.
You can also pay for 6 or 12 months of airtime up front at a    
   discounted price.

Find out more about 1stFone on their website HERE
Facebook HERE
Twitter HERE

So what do you think? 
Good idea or crazy times having phones for kids? I'd love to find out what you think so please let me know below.
I think we as a family are very relieved that we have now got an amazing new asset to our days out.
Love It...

 I was not paid by 1stfone for writing this post but I did receive one of their products to use and keep in return for my honest review of their product.
 All the content from this post is written in my own words (apart from the quote from their website) Click here for more information on my disclosure policy


  1. I think they're really excellent and absolutely ideal for anyone who would find it distracting or impossible to use a standard mobile phone. Your little chap looks so incredibly pleased with his phone and I think it'll give the opportunity for him to have a level of independence that he really wouldn't be able to achieve for much longer otherwise... :)

  2. We reviewed one of these for the girls too. I think they're brilliant.


Thank you for your comment xx