Pediatrician's Think Kids Should Wait Until Eighth Grade For A Cell Phone

Six and seven year old's own cell phones

Kid with Cell Phone

Dreamstime

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - No matter where you look today, almost every kid has cell phone.

Natalie Bencivenga, Relationship Columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, joined KDKA radio on Tuesday to talk about when a child should own a cell phone.

She is surprised by the amount of adults who give their child a cell phone before middle school. Bencivenga said,

“I know parents that are giving their kids their own cell phone at six and seven years old.” She continued,

“These aren’t flip phones, these are smart phones.”

Most six and seven year olds are in first grade.

Studies have suggested that children should not a stare at a screen for long period of time before their brain develops.

“There’s pediatricians that are saying you shouldn’t even consider giving your child a cell phone until they are in at least eighth grade,” Bencivenga tells KDKA.

If your child does have a cell phone, Bencivenga thinks parents should;

“Sit down and have a conversation about how much time is allowed to be spent on the phone, what they’re doing, and make sure that you have access to their phones at all times.”

Cell phones also give kids access to a lot of information, which could lead to dangerous things;

“I don’t believe a ten year old needs to have their own cell phone for many reasons; safety being the top reason,” Bencivenga said.

With a cell phone, kids can talk to strangers, browse adult sites on the internet, and much more that parents do think about.

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