UK parents ‘want minimum age for smartphone ownership’

The overwhelming majority of parents in the UK are keen for there to be a minimum age for smartphone ownership, a recent survey from Internet Matters has revealed.

According to the poll from the not-for-profit organization, 84.6 percent of parents would like to see the use of the device considerably prohibited in young children.

Most respondents (24.6 percent) said that 10 was their favored age for allowing children to own their first phone, closely followed by 11 (23.8 percent) and nine (13.5 percent).

The survey, which canvassed the opinions of 1,000 parents of children aged between 8-11, also examined attitudes towards having smartphones in schools.

A significant 82 per cent stated that such devices should be restricted in the playground.

Age restriction

Age at which smartphones ‘should’ be introduced

Only 23 percent of mums and dads allowed their children to take their smartphones with them to school, the study noted.

The results are interesting as the very same poll found that presently, around 65 percent of UK-based children aged between 8-11 own their own smartphone.

Carolyn Bunting, general manager at Internet Matters, said that it is important that parents are aware of what their children are doing online.

She added: “We would urge parents to ensure they have the conversation with their children about how to be responsible on their phones and ensure that the safety settings are in place across all their devices and search engines.”

Ms. Bunting’s comments came at the same time as an NSPCC survey revealed that many parents are delaying having important conversations with their children about online safety.

Even though many are concerned about what their children have access to, a lack of confidence or understanding of the key issues is preventing them from giving advice.

“We want to help parents recognize that for their children there is often no distinction between the online and offline world,” remarked Peter Wanless, CEO of the charity NSPCC, in August.

Author , ESET

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