At what age should you give your child a smart phone?

It's a tough decision for many parents in this modern technology age; when it the right time to buy your child a smart phone.

Pediatricians say it depends on the maturity of the child. Usually parents make the decision around middle school

Before you hand them their first phones, it's important to sit down and set limits.

For example, make sure the phone is left charging overnight in a common area. This allows parents to better monitor their child's phone use, especially if there are restrictions.

It's also important to set limiting such as no texting at the diner table and how to prevent cyber bullying. 

\"Think about the situation your child is in and why you really want to get them the phone,\" suggested Dr. Corinn Cross of the American Academy of Pediatrics. \"Do you want to get them the phone for safety? Do you want to get them the phone  so they communicate with their friends? And then make sure they're ready to handle the responsibility that you are giving them.\"

Experts say if parents green light a phone for younger children, they need to do their research and set up safety controls.

Parents should also be up front with their children if they plant to check their texts, emails and phone calls. 

For more information and research on children and the media click here

Share this article: