Should Children Have Mobile Phones?

A recent survey suggests that 9 out of 10 children in the UK own a mobile phone. But many parents are concerned about the physical, emotional and psychological risks of regularly using mobile phones at a young age. So, should children be allowed to have their own mobile phones?

Yes – Fiona
My daughter is 13 and has had her own phone since she was 11. As a parent, it’s really reassuring to know that she is able to get hold of me anytime. It makes me feel confident that she’s safe when I can’t be with her such as when she’s walking to and from school or out playing with her friends. And if I’m running late to pick her up, I can let her know rather than leave her wondering where I am.

My son is 16 and likes to stay out late with his mates on an evening. Being able to send him a text to check he’s okay is great. It means I don’t have to embarrass him by phoning his friends’ mothers to track him down or drive round looking for him.

It can be annoying when the kids are attached to their phones all the time but to be honest, most adults are just as bad. Mobile phones aren’t going to go away – they are part of modern life now and so I think it’s good for children to learn how to use them from a young age. They also help my kids to have a good social life – they are never bored because they can always find a friend to talk to or meet up with using their phone.

No – Vikram
I think it’s really sad to see children as young as eight or nine using mobile phones. It’s just another way in which they are being forced to grow up too quickly. School-age children simply don’t need phones – their parents should know where they are without having to rely on a phone to track them down.

Of course, mobile phones do so much more than simply make phone calls these days which makes the problems worse. I’ve seen young children use their phone pretty much every waking hour – whether they are texting, playing games or checking social network websites for messages. This means that they are not engaging in other healthier past times such as playing outdoors or trying new hobbies.

Children have become obsessed with mobile phones and it makes it difficult to have conversations with them as they can’t focus for more than a few minutes withoutlooking at their phone. I’ve heard reports from parents who say that their children are constantly checking their phone at the dinner table or even using it to message their friends in the early hours of the morning.

There is of course also the worry of potential radiation caused by using mobile phones. Children’s and teenager’s bodies are still developing and it’s unclear what affect using mobile phones has on young bodies.

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