POLL: IF and when do you get your child a cell phone?

It is believed almost four in 10 children, between the ages of eight and 11, own a smartphone.

Some believe parents should NOT give their children mobile phones before secondary school.

Child and family therapist, LCSW and author Adam Russo said junior high is a good time for parents to get their children a cell phone, because that’s when they’ll face social pressures if they don't have a phone.

“Then it’s incumbent on parents to be responsible with what kids can access on the phone, and that’s where I think parents drop the ball, is that they stop being responsible, they just kind of make it the phones fault, not their own fault, for what kids can access,” said Russo.

He said if kids were doing poor in school or athletics, parents would get them the help they need to excel, but parents try to absolve themselves of their ignorance by not keeping track of their child's time on their smart phone.

There are apps to monitor children's time on a smartphone, but often times parents don't pay use them.

“These tools exist, but parents, I think oftentimes play stupid and they blame technology for what their kids are getting into and they don’t really take a high level of ownership,” said Russo.

Priory poll found:

·         more than 40 percent of parents believe young people under the age of 16 should be banned from owning the devices.

·         67 percent of parents wanted government to decide how old a child should be before they are given a smartphone.

Ofcom report revealed:

·         the average adult looks at their mobile every 12 minutes.

·         Six in 10 people said they could not live without their smartphones.

·         95 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds have a smartphone, compared with 78 percent for all ages.

Russo said the benefit is knowing your child can reach you at any given time if they have their own cell phone, yet it's ironic that most children with a cell phone don't use it to actually talk.

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