For kids and cell phones these days, the parental focal point is no longer a matter of if, but when.
Data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicate that tweens and teens will own a cell phone is practically a given, with around 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds toting a mobile device. In 2004, less than half of that age group owned phones.
In addition, the age of adolescent cell phone use is trending downward.
As of 2009, 20 percent of kids between six and 11 years old had a cell phone, according to a Mediamark survey. Moreover, cell phone ownership has increased most dramatically over the past five years -– 80.5 percent -– among ten- to 11-year olds.
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While six years old might seem awfully young for any kid to have a phone, child development experts haven't recommended an ideal age for bestowing kids with their inaugural handheld.
Instead of waiting for some magic number, the decision to get your kid a cell phone should hinge on more intangible factors, including personal responsibility, necessity and parental respect.