Is there an age that is too young for a child to have a mobile phone? Unlike laws concerning driving a vehicle on public roadways, no official order dictates when parents can give their children phones and other mobile devices.
Some experts make the case that you will not harm your children by letting them use a mobile phone at an early age.
Professor Mark Griffiths, a chartered psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, said that deciding when the time is right to give a child a mobile phone depends on the individual child and his or her parents.
He added: “It is about responsible parenting and limiting screen time. There is no scientific evidence about what the right age is to give a phone. I have three teenagers, and none of them got a phone before the age of 11.”
Griffiths’ choice of an appropriate age is typical. A survey by Internet marketing company Influence Central found that the average age for a child to get his or her first mobile phone is 10.3 years old. The same study found that by the age of 12, about 50% of children are using a smartphone to access social media.
The major considerations in preparing to give your children a mobile phone are determining why they need to have one and if they are mature enough to use it.
Safety concerns can be important in your decision-making, especially if your children walk to school. From a maturity standpoint, you should evaluate whether you can trust your children to use video, text and photo functions responsibly and not to disturb others when talking on the phone.