UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
Nearly 75 percent of middle school students, and one third of all 11-year-olds, in the United States, have cell phones.
During the holidays, parents want to buy their children the hottest items on the shelves, which could include smart phones. Smart phones have full Internet access capabilities and applications that anyone can download, which may not be suitable for adolescents.
The Methodist Children's Home in Waco, does not take the issue of cell phones lightly. They treat cell phones as a privilege that may require monitoring. Tim Brown, President of MCH and father of three, says it is a parents responsibility to make sure their children are not misusing their smart phone privileges. He says, "you need to know what your kids are involved in. Whether their going to Internet sites they shouldn't be going to, or whether their sexting."
Experts say the average age a child first looks at pornography is 11 years old. Because smart phones have full Internet access, that temptation can become stronger.
One parent says a phone with less features, may be more appropriate for children.
When shopping for cell phones for children, parents should meet with a local service provider, to discuss cell phone options that are more suitable for children.