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Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.

Technology is great. There are so many fantastic benefits to letting your kids have access to their own mobile devices. For instance, if you have access to a digital library, then your child’s device can contain hundreds of books for them to explore. Unfortunately, the more your kids use their devices, the higher the probability that something will go wrong or get broken. Here are a few top tips to protect your kid’s devices and keep them working longer.

Screen Protectors

Screen protectors come in all shapes and sizes. You can get them for phones, tablets, and even smartwatches. You do have to take some time to find one that matches the device’s brand and model. They won’t make the device indestructible, but they do absorb a lot of damage. They will break instead of the screen, which is usually the most expensive part of any device.

Fitting a screen protector can be a little fiddly, but it’s not too difficult. You do need to make sure the screen is clean before you put it on. So, it can be a good idea to apply it before you give the device to your child. Otherwise, an alcohol wipe is an excellent way to get the dirt and grime off.

You’ll want to line up the screen protector carefully and then lower it into place. Push firmly along it to get any air bubbles out. Using the edge of a credit card is a really effective method of doing this.

If the screen protector gets cracked, you’ll want to replace it sooner rather than later. Once it’s broken, it’s much less effective at providing protection.

Shock Proof Cases

No matter how old they are or how careful they are, kids drop things. When you see them drop a tablet, there is that moment when you stop breathing for a few seconds until you see the screen. So, getting a good child proof case can actually be good for your health!

You’ll want to look for a case that is specific to the device. They need to fit snuggly; otherwise, they don’t work. Shockproof cases are the gold standard. They should protect your device from any drops and falls. However, they won’t provide protection against feet standing on them, so don’t think this makes the device invulnerable to damage.

Check Warranty and Insurance Conditions

When you’re choosing a device for your kids, I urge you to check the warranty conditions. Some devices are marketed for kids, but still, have a very strict warranty. If you look around, though, you can find devices with a warranty designed with kids in mind. For instance, the kid’s edition Kindle Fire has a 2-year worry-free warranty. No matter what your kid does, they’ll replace the device if it’s broken.

If you’ve taken out insurance to cover devices that your kids are using, you should take a bit of time to just check the conditions. Many policies don’t cover accidental damage. If you got the policy with your kids in mind, then accidental damage is exactly the cover you need.

Purge Excessive Downloads

Kids will often fill up their devices with games, and apps, and books, and anything else that catches their attention. If you have the safety setting correctly enabled, you can feel reasonably sure that most of these downloads won’t hide anything nasty. However, they can clog up a device and stop it from working as it should.

It can be a good idea to open up your kid’s device every now and then, and remove anything that they don’t regularly use. You can usually get a device to tell you when something was last opened. If it’s been more than a couple of weeks, you can reasonably remove it without too much worry.

If your kids are older, you might want to involve them in this process for two key reasons. One – they can have some say over what you remove. That way, you don’t accidentally delete their progress on a treasured game. Two – you’re teaching them to look after their own device.

Regular Software Updates

Software updates can be annoying. They often interrupt what you’re doing, and you can easily just tell them to go away. Kids will do the same. But, if a device is not regularly updated, it becomes vulnerable. It can be open to attack and malware.

While you’re checking your kid’s device for all the excess downloads, you should also take a moment to check that all the recent updates have been downloaded and installed. You can usually do this in the main settings of most smart devices.

It can be easy to forget about the digital side of protecting your kid’s device, but doing these things every now and then can really extend the life of a device and make it more enjoyable and useful.

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