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Kids' Peripherals Buying Tips

What to know before buying computer accessories for children

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Ah, kids these days don't know how good they have it. Back when I was a kid, I had to use a regular sized mouse at school, after walking uphill both ways! Or something like that.

Chances are that your kids constantly clamor to use your electronics, and they will usually find a way to make them work for their size, no matter what. But not all peripherals are made equal, especially for little hands and fingers, so here are a few things to think about when buying your computer accessories for your offspring.

Mice

There are all sorts of kid-themed mice out there, and these often go in for the cute kill, rather than the comfort one. Do your children a favor and think about ergonomics when buying. If you have a lefty, get a mouse that is made for a lefty. If you can't find any children's mice that you like, take a look at travel mice. Their smaller dimensions are often perfect for the under-10 bunch.

Children also often prefer wireless mice because there are no cords to get tangled up in. (Many adults are prefer this too!) Be prepared to stock up in extra batteries unless they're especially good about remembering to use the off switch when they're done.

Keyboards

Get durable and get washable. Although you may insist that there never be allowed any liquids near the computer while your kids use it, somehow a glass of something will magically find its way dumped into the keyboard at some point in time. (Pity your future if you let them use a laptop without an external keyboard.) Anti-microbial protection is also a plus because grammar school is like a Petri dish, and those bugs always find their way home.

There are also keyboards that are color-coded to help teach your children the proper way to type. Since kids now learn how to hunt and peck way before they learn cursive (if they even teach that anymore), learning proper hand positions will save them some headaches in the long run.

Webcams

If your computer has an integrated webcam, learn how to disable it. Enough said.

If you use an external webcam, keep tabs on its location so you can decide when and how it's used.

When it comes to construction, the standard rules of all kids' electronics apply: durability is usually the most important factor. Avoid webcams with all-plastic constructions since they won't hold up very well when they're dropped (and you know they will be dropped … and dropped … and dropped).

Speakers and Headphones

Go kid-safe. There are several models out there that have features meant to preserve children's hearing, such as limiting the numbers of decibels. While ear buds are still the must-have for the tween and teen set, try to keep them with over-ear headphones for as long as they'll let you.

Use desktop speakers at home to give their ears a break from the headphones. While you may be sick of the 130,567 rendition of whatever the current favorite song is for the week, your kids' ears will thank you (although your kids probably won't).

External Storage

Get data backup and get lots of it. If you have kids, you have baby photos. And if you have baby photos, you need some series backup strategies; heaven help you when your curious teenager clicks on that attachment that he's not supposed to, but did anyway.

Here are 10 Ways To Remember to Back Up Your Data.

Here are 5 Ways to Back Up Your Data.

No more excuses.

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