Mobile phone for children: when to give it away?
The idea of giving mobile phones to children must be examined carefully to understand what is the right age. Let’s find out the opinion of the pediatrician.
Italy is among the leading countries in the use of cell phones. According to the most recent data, in our country, there is a diffusion of over 90% in the adult population, with even higher peaks among young people and children. Despite the indications of pediatricians to limit the use of mobile phones before the age of ten, many families have decided to give children and teenagers mobile phones and tablets to allow them to develop digital skills from a very young age. A real boom in the technology sector!
Mobile phones are therefore an important part of everyday life. But when is the right time to offer children this hi-tech device? What is the appropriate age to have a mobile phone? And how should parents behave in deciding whether or not to give their children a telephone? In this article, we’ll look at these questions and discuss what to consider before deciding whether or not to grant the request: “Mom, Dad, get me a cell phone!”
Damage to health or a resource?
Excessive use of a telephone can be harmful to children’s health. Excessive use of the mobile device can cause serious problems, such as the onset of eye disease , back pain and muscle stiffness. Furthermore, children under the age of 10 are not yet ready to face the competition and stimuli of the network , with all that this entails.
The latter need to socialize and explore the world around them. On-screen interactions can take children away from this experience. This is why the use of the mobile phone is not recommended for children until they learn to manage their relationship with it in the most responsible and balanced way possible.
Negative consequences include disrupting the development of their cognitive and social skills, disturbing their sleep , and affecting their physical and emotional health. Excessive cell phone use can also limit children’s ability to focus on their studies or be more active outdoors. Also, if parents don’t set strict rules for their children’s use, they may run into risks such as cyberbullying or exposure to inappropriate content. For this reason it is important that all parents discuss the opportunities and implications of using a cell phone with their children before allowing them to use it.
What is the age to have a mobile phone?
Is there a recommended age to have your own device? The answer is yes. While the development of technology advances and the use of digital devices by children can be convenient, it is important to carefully consider the “cons” when introducing a phone or tablet. Many international health agencies have conducted research on the matter and it is recommended that children who own a mobile phone are between the ages of 8 and 12 before they start using digital devices such as smartphones.
Technology is part of everyday life, so we need to make sure our children are prepared to use a mobile phone responsibly. It is important to introduce the topic with them and explain what are the risks and negative consequences that can arise from the improper use of this technology. We also need to make sure they understand why some content shouldn’t be shared and how to maintain their privacy online . Establishing clear rules about maximum screen time and the type of activities allowed can help them use their mobile as correctly as possible.
The opinion of the pediatrician
Today’s children have grown up in the digital age, and many have had their cell phones since the early grades of elementary school . This technology brings with it a number of problems. First, uncontrolled cell phone use can lead to internet addiction and the dead end of social media addiction.
Secondly, the lack of control over the content children watch online with mobile phones can expose them to inappropriate material. Finally, frequent use of the mobile phone can interfere with school activities and leisure time spent outdoors, thus limiting the physical and emotional development of the youngest. It is therefore essential, as medical science declares, to set clear and balanced rules regarding the use of mobile phones by children to avoid future problems in this area.
Pediatricians are well aware that children are increasingly using technology, but stress the importance of limiting the use of devices. Once a certain age is reached, children can be granted a personal mobile phone , but not before the age of ten. This is important to encourage correct social development and avoid perpetuating passive claims dependent on electronic means. Let’s therefore help our children to acquire autonomy and responsibility through the disciplined and conscious use of new technologies!