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Could a Smartphone Ban For Kids Under 13 be Coming?

June 20, 2017

Think back to when you were 13 years old and younger. How did you spend your free time? I was involved in soccer, Girl Scouts, and loved riding my bike with friends to the park. But times have changed so much for kids because of technology. 

The average age a child get their first smartphone in the United States in 10. Also, kids are spending a lot of times on these devices. Tablets usage has soared fro, 26% to 55% as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45%. What happened to playing car games like "I spy with my little eye"? 

Colorado father, Tim Farnum, has created a coalition that is trying to ban the sale of smartphones to children under the age of 13. This ban would also include the ban on selling the devices to parents or adults purchasing them for those under the age of 13 as well. Farnum, an anesthesiologist, said that we have bans in place on kids purchasing alcohol and tobacco because it's harmful to their health and can be addictive. He said that smartphones could be just addicting for young people. 

I wrote an article on smartphone addiction a few weeks back. If you do some research, you'll find plenty of inpatient rehab programs for children and adults battling digital addiction. I think even if this ban was put into place, that children would still get their hands on their parent's phones. When was the last time you went out to a restaurant for a meal? It's very common to see very young children and even toddlers fiddling with their parent's phones or a tablet to keep them busy.

What do you think is the right time to give your children their first smartphone? And do you think parents need to impose time limitations on screen use?