Kid-friendly phones come in a number of flavors, including conventional cell phone and prepaid cell phone varieties. A number of things set them apart: They're often more ruggedly constructed than cell phones designed for adults. Some will also have slightly larger keys that are perfect for small, chubby fingers. They'll be visually designed for kids, too, sporting bright colors and recognizable graphics.
Phones designed for younger kids may have very limited functionality, too. The face of the phone might only have four or five buttons. The idea is to preprogram home and emergency numbers into the phone to keep things simple and dispense with advanced features your young child wouldn't use anyway. These phones will also often include an approved list of incoming phone numbers you can select and change as needed.
The most dynamic features available in kid-friendly phones are the parental controls. Think of them as commands you set to keep your child's phone activities safe and sane. Although features vary, parental controls can include the approved list of numbers mentioned above, as well as the ability to curtail phone use during specific times of the day, like during school hours. If the phone has Internet access, parental controls may include a list of banned keywords and search terms. There may also be the option to disable Internet access completely. High-end phones for kids may also include built-in GPS chips that can locate your child or his phone in the event one or both become lost.