The average age for a child to have a smartphone today is just 11 years, reports Mashable.
According to research by Common Sense Media, 53% of kids have their own smartphones by the age of 11. By the age of 12, more than 69% of children have one.
These findings were taken from a national survey of 1,600 children aged eight to 18 years looking at the trends in technology use among tweens and teens.
The last time the survey was carried out in 2015, the average age for a majority of children to have a smartphone was between 13 and 14 years.
Michael Robb, a senior research director at Common Sense Media, said: “When your kids say, ‘Everyone else has a phone,’ they kind of have a point.”
Today, nearly one in five eight-year-olds have their own smartphones.
In the US, Wait Until 8th is a pledge to wait until a child is in eighth grade or at least 14 years before giving them their own phone.
The organisation cites the negative impact smartphone use has on adolescent brain development, sleep and social relationships as reasons why parents and carers should take the pledge.
Speaking on the subject, Dr Sarah Domoff, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Central Michigan University, said: “I highly recommend that parents and other caregivers develop a family phone agreement or more general household media plan to prevent such risks.”
A key aim of the study is to provide insight into generational trends so those raising young people can make well-informed decisions about their wellbeing.
As Robb explains: “If you’re going to give a kid a phone, you need to make sure that they’re using it responsibly. You need to have conversations beforehand — and not just about screen time, but also [more] practical conversations, like, ‘Can you take care of this? Will you not lose this?’”
When buying a child their first mobile phone it’s good to get mobile phone insurance to protect against loss and damage. Get in touch with Gadget Cover and get a quote today.