Can children have cell phones at an early age?


Technology increases every day and access to these devices seems to have no limits for children. Previously, the concern of many parents was to see their children on television for a long time and they sent them to sleep early, now, everything changes with the use of cell phones today.

It seems that many parents nowadays choose to give their children a phone as a birthday surprise or compensation for having good grades in school, but… Can this be good or bad? Are mobile phones suitable for children?

A report revealed that 85% of children in Chile, specifically in the Santiago metropolitan region, have access to these devices and use YouTube as the main app to watch videos, in addition to using it as a tool to perform school tasks. The Ministry of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Transport indicated in the document that children between the ages of 10 and 13 were the ones who most used these phones.

The study also revealed that children used the phone for the following activities:

  • Play 49 %
  • Watch videos 47 %
  • Watch movies or series 40 %
  • Social Network 33 %
  • Listening to music 32 %

On the other hand, the children who carried out these activities were surveyed and the majority responded that the use of their phones was limited to certain hours and others responded that there were rules in their homes.

What are the implications of giving a phone to a child at an early age?

Several experts on the subject point out that mobiles and tablets can bring complications in children at an early age, some of these are:

  • Cognitive development: prolonged use of these phones can cause learning problems, attention deficit, impulsivity or lack of self-control in children.
  • Childhood obesity: a sedentary lifestyle can cause diabetes or vascular problems in the future.
  • Sleep disturbances: the use of mobile phones throughout the day and even at night can alter the functioning of the brain when falling asleep in children, which could have complications in their academic performance.
  • Too much radiation: radiation in phones is almost nil, but if it is used frequently, it can alter our body with diseases such as cancer, this, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • They are more prone to cyberbullying.

The use of telephones can have negative implications, but it also brings with it new ways of exploring technology and staying up to date with it, everything will depend on the use we give it and that parents choose to use rules with their children when using these devices.

Learn about our plans for cybersecurity at home, protect your children from cyberbullying or any type of exposure that may affect it.