Parenting Tip: Protecting your iOS device from bumps, bruises and bashes
Having a naked iPhone or iPad around kids means living in constant fear of one of them snagging the device and
dropping smashing it on the floor. Though the iPhone and iPad are lovely devices when they are undressed, parents who want to keep their devices in pristine condition would be wise to adorn them in a case that protects them from the bumps and bruises of living in a child-filled household. Below you will find our recommended cases as well as other accessories to help you child-proof your iOS device.
Cases for the iPhone and iPad
The case is your first line of defense in protecting your iPhone or iPad. You'll want to choose one that provides corner protection during a fall and is sturdy enough to prevent your child from denting the device when they bump into a corner. If it has a cover, use it! A coverless case won't protect the device if the screen is impacted. I recently lost an iPad 2 because my child dropped the device and then stepped on the screen.
LifeProof isn't a super durable case, but it'll protect your device from most minor falls. It'll also protect it from a drop in the toilet or the sink. You can read our review of the LifeProof case for the iPhone 4. As an aside, OtterBox just acquired LifeProof, so I would expect to see the products continue to be sold under the OtterBox umbrella.
OtterBox makes some of the best rugged cases for the iPad and iPhone. There's the new Armor series that are rugged and waterproof as well as the trustworthy Defender series, which offers robust protection from a fall. You can read our review of the Armor case for the iPhone 5 and our review of the early Defender case for the iPad and the iPhone.
Griffin produces the Survivor series of cases for the iPad and the iPhone, which we reviewed a few years back. The Survivor is a rugged case for the iPhone and iPad that is right up there with OtterBox in terms of quality and price. I've used one on my iPad 2 for years, and it protected the device from many near catastrophic falls. The version I had also included a nice little stand that was great for watching videos.
An often overlooked accessory that I always buy is a screen protector. It seems whenever my kids spend any amount of time with the iPad, it comes back gooey and sticky. A screen protector wont do much to protect your device in the event of a fall, but it will make it easy to clean. I have successfully used Zagg InvisibleShield, BodyGuardz and Best Skins Ever screen protectors. Depending on what case you buy, it may come with screen protector as part of the case. You'll want to check out the case you plan on buying before you spend an extra $20 on a screen protector that you don't need.
Spend the extra money to add AppleCare to your device. The version of AppleCare for the iPhone and iPad, called AppleCare+, will provide you with a replacement device at minimal cost when (not if) the device gets damaged. You are limited to two replacements for the life of the plan.
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