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What's Too Young for a Cell Phone?

3rd graders getting their own phones

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ConsumerBob talks with parents about the right age to start a child with his/her own cell phone.

    Jannia Robinson doesn't have a problem giving her six-year-old daughter a cell phone.

    "I think my daughter is mature enough for it," said Robinson.

    The mother of three is not alone, more and more parents are putting wireless phones into the hands of  their elementary-age children.

    How Young Is Too Young for a Phone?

    [DGO] How Young Is Too Young for a Phone?
    ConsumerBob talks with parents about the right age to start a child with his/her own cell phone.

    "We're seeing in some of my stores parents with kids seven and eight-years-old coming in and looking for handsets," said Saul Rodriguez with Cricket Wireless.  He said both the child and the parent agree to the deal.

    "Parents want to be in touch with their kids," said Rodriguez.

    That is one reason Julio Arevalo wants his child to get a phone.

    "I say within the range of eight or nine-year-old, once he becomes a little more responsible," said Arevalo. But Kari Inniss wants her child to be older.

    "About 12, just because they start doing more stuff outside the home," said Inniss.

    Cricket Wireless encourages parents to talk to their children before giving them a phone. Cricket and other phone carriers offer "contracts" that can be created between parents and their children that sets standards and guidelines over their phone use.  It is also a time to talk.

    "Get some commitments," said Saul Rodriguez, "this is a privilege to have a phone."

    But Mark Belanger doesn't see giving his children a phone any time soon.

    "I think they can have a cell phone when they can have a job and afford their own."