Study finds average age of kids when they get first cell phone is six

A new survey indicates the average age for children when they get their first cell phone is six years old. (Shutterstock)

A new survey finds most children get their first cell phone when they are just 6 years old.

The survey, conducted by www.vouchercloud.net, asked 2,290 American parents who at least one 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 cell phone by the age of six.

So why are parents getting their kids a cell phone so early in their childhood? The largest majority of parents, 31-percent, said they purchased a cell phone for their child for "security reasons, so my child could always contact me." Another 25-percent said their child's cell phone was to help them keep in touch with friends and family while another 20% said their child's cell phone helped their kid "keep up with friends at school."

"The fact that most six year old kids have cell phones 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 cell phones that are invading your child's life. Parents were asked to identify other technology they've purchased for their kids:
  • 96% have a cell phone
  • 83% have a TV or sound system
  • 75% have a tablet
  • 71% have a handheld gaming console
  • 65% have an eBook reader
  • 51% have an Xbox or Playstation

All that technology comes with a hefty price tag. Parents who responded to the survey said they've spent $462.00 per child making sure they're equipped with the latest gadgets.

We want to know what you think. At which age should children get their first cell phones, and how young is too young? Weigh on now on our ABC-13 Facebook page.

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technologycellphonechildrentelevisiontabletsgamesxboxstudyparentingu.s. & worldconsumerfamily
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