kids and cell phones - how young is too young?

@cher913 (25895)
Canada
July 14, 2008 8:23am CST
our youngest daughter is 11 and some of her friends have one (of course she wants one too...)and i have seen younger kids have them and now health sources are saying that cell phones can harm their brains (cause tumours) and general well being. what do you think? our 15 year old daughter had one, then she lost it (even some teenagers are not responsible enough to have them.)
1 person likes this
9 responses
@mouse27 (1156)
• Canada
22 Jul 08
where i live they are taking out all the payphones so having a cell phone when you are out is really important. cell phones aren't that bad for a child to have if they are old enough to go to a friends house on their own. and you can set the phone up so that they can only call certain people. until they get old enough to get a job and help pay the bill. if you decide to get your 11 year old a cell phone i would suggest getting her a pay as you go phone and only putting time on it when she is going out. as she isn't going to need to use it when she is at home. you can also keep the phone in a safe place and only give it to her when she goes out. depending on where you live and how easy it is to get to a pay phone should be the deciding factor in whether your kids get a cell phone.
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@raydene (9875)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I think if your child is going to places alone where she may need to call you then better safe then sorry. If she is only at school and home and safe friend's homes it's most likely not necessary. My 13 year old grandson got his last year when he took an afterschool job helping an elderly man with chores. My 18 year old granddaughter has had hers for a couple of years and my 18 year old daughter,and all my older daughter and sons have them. oxxooxxoxo
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• United States
15 Jul 08
I have the same issue my daughter has friends but she doesnt really talk on the phone that much just wants one for status. I think it really depends on her purpose and yours. I may get her a phone when she starts needing it for security purposes one where I can track her movement with a GPS system.
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@PearlGrace (3172)
• United States
15 Jul 08
Cher913, This is a very tough discussion. I mean, if you believe what they are saying about cell phones possibly causing tumors then the decision is a simple no. But, if you don't believe it, then there's not a lot of reason to simply deny a kid who behaves appropriately, is there? I can see telling a kid it's to be used only to call the parent or in the case of an emergency. But then, where's the fun in that? I am glad I don't have to figure this one out. I will say that my granddaughter, who is 12 just recently got her cell phone. And she's quite excited about it. Take Care.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 08
I believe a child is not ready for a cell phone until they are able to purchase one and pay for the service themselves. We go on and on about children having cell phones, the pros and cons, but people as young as my generation didn't have cell phones and got along fine. Have an emergency? Use a payphone. Don't have money? Call collect its an emergency! I had a pager in junior high school, but that was more for my great-great grandmother's safety than mine. She was getting on in years, and with no one home with her during the day, and both my mom and grandmother at work where she couldn't reach them, it made sense for her to have some sort of contact if something went wrong.
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@ShepherdSpy (8563)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
14 Jul 08
The problem is,nobody wants to be toting around one of those 1980's styled brick phones,and so phones have been developed to be as small as possible..and then they get dropped or lost easily! I believe there's a phone designed for kids called the "Firefly",with limited functionality,but they probably want all the funky phones with picture messaging,cameras and such..(Did anyone hear that rumour that phone manufacturers were making phones so small specifically to attract kids?!) I see Ebay has wristwatch type phones now,which may help the phonedroppers..all we need now is voice recognition,and we can do away with a keypad! Personally,I don't think a kid needs a phone until they have an active social life,ie teenagers..but then I'm saying that as a Hotel worker bugged out by ringtones from little kids with better phones than I have!
• United States
14 Jul 08
Cell phones were new when I was a kid, but my mom got each of us a 911 phone. You couldn't dial out anywhere, but you could dial 911. Maybe that's an option for your daughter? Then she can say she has a cell phone and be 'cool' without you having to pay a ton of money or worry about her talking on it all of the time.
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
14 Jul 08
I think it depends on the family. However in my family I don't feel that my kids have any reason to have a cell phone. I am there to pick them up from what ever they need picked up from, and if they need to call friends they can use the house phone. When they are 16 and driving we will let them have cell phones, so they can use them in case of an emergency or I can contact them if I need to, but for now I always know where they are, so it is really not necessary.
• United States
14 Jul 08
HI Cher, I am a grandmother of 18 grands. Some of these have cell phones, some don't. I think if the parent has a need to contact their child, and the child is mature enough to be responsible, then get them a cell phone regardless of age. Age should not be a factor at all. Need would be a better factor to consider. If there a real concern for the child, health, busy schedule, etc., that could help you decide. If the child has to be alone for some time, be in a risky neighborhood, or at risk in general, then you may consider a cell phone for them. The final decision is up to the parent. There is a lot of peer pressure out there for children these days, and that should not be a factor. Cell phones can cause damage to anyone, if it affects a child, will it not affect an adult? Just something to consider. Have a nice day..
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
14 Jul 08
no, it doesnt because apparently (this is what i heard on the radio) that an adults skull is thicker than a childs (they are just developing as they grow)
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• United States
14 Jul 08
Hi Cher, It makes sense, that's why adults are called hard-headed.. LOL
• United States
29 Oct 08
HI Cher, Thanks for the BR! Hope you made a good decision!! Have a nice day..