New study finds one in ten kids has cell phone by age five

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by JENNIFER KING / Social Media Producer

KREM.com

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 24 at 10:53 AM

A phone of their own, just in time for kindergarten.  It might sound crazy to some parents, but a new study says one out of ten children has a cell phone by the time they are five years old.  

Researchers with the comparison site uSwitch.com surveyed 1,420 parents with children under the age of 16.

On average, they found that parents buy their kids their first phone at the age of 11.

The more alarming statistic is that some 9% of parents said their bought their children a phone when they were five.

KING 5 wanted to see what Seattle families thought of the new trend.

"He asks me every day, when am I going to get a cell phone, when I am going to be old enough to have a cell phone," said mom Amy Elkhashab, about her five-year-old son.  "And I tell him, sixth grade, when you're in sixth grade."

That's about the age most parents we spoke with seemed to agree on.  They all felt five-years-old was far to young.

"While it is nice to have the safety feature, I feel like at age five, they're usually supervised anyhow," said Rachel Caprio.

The closest KING 5 came to finding a five-year-old with a cell phone was child carrying around a toy phone in downtown Bellevue.

"She likes her cell phone, of course," he father said of the toy.  "But would I give my daughter at five years old a real cell phone?  Probably not."

The study also found parents spend an average of $194 on their children's gadgets.

 

 

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