A new survey finds most children get their first cellphone when they are just 6 years old.
The survey, conducted by www.vouchercloud.net, asked 2,290 American parents who have at least one child what kind of everyday technology items they'd purchased for their children, and what age those children received those devices. The survey, detailed by Child Guide Magazine, found most children get their first cellphone by the age of six.
So why are parents getting their kids a cellphone so early in their childhood? The largest majority of parents, 31 percent, said they purchased a cellphone for their child for "security reasons, so my child could always contact me." Another 25 percent said their child's cellphone was to help them keep in touch with friends and family while another 20 percent said their child's cellphone helped their kid "keep up with friends at school."
"The fact that most 6-year-old kids have cellphones in their pockets while out on their bikes or playing with their friends shows just how much technology is part of our lives at a young age," said Matthew Wood of vouchercloud.net. "It's not necessarily the bad thing it's often made out to be; children learn about taking responsibility for things, looking after their possessions and they are much easier to contact if needed, but it's crucial that they use this technology in a way that doesn't affect their normal social skills and growth."
The study also found it's not just cellphones that are invading your child's life. Parents were asked to identify other technology they've purchased for their kids:
- 96 percent have a cellphone
- 83 percent have a TV or sound system
- 75 percent have a tablet
- 71 percent have a handheld gaming console
- 65 percent have an eBook reader
- 51 percent have an Xbox or Playstation
All that technology comes with a hefty price tag. Parents who responded to the survey said they've spent $462 per child making sure they're equipped with the latest gadgets.