Colorado Group Asking For Ban On Sale Of Cellphones To Children Under 13

June 19, 2017
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A Colorado group wants to ban the sales of cellphones to children under 13 years of age and officials in the state have cleared the language for a proposed ballot measure.

Parents Against Underage Smartphones, the group behind the movement, would now need roughly 300,000 voter signatures for the legislation to make the 2018 ballot.

If successful, it would require cellphone retailers to ask customers about the age of the primary user of a smartphone and then submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue on adhering to the requirement.

Retailers who do actually sell a phone for use by a pre-teen would get a warning for the first offense, however, they may face fines from $500 to $20,000 for continued violations.

Eventually kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that,” said Dr. Tim Farnum, who is leading the movement.

Farnum said that he was inspired to make the push after watching his own kids struggle with the psychological effects of always having a device with them.

“They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were,” he said.

Democratic state Sen. John Kefalas said he understands the reasoning behind the proposed law. but he said it would overstep the government’s role.

“Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter,” he said. “Ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.”

Not too long ago, The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines for children’s media use, including smartphones.

Restricting screen time to no more than an hour a day of high-quality programming until age 6 was recommended, after which parents should set consistent time limits and make sure electronic devices don’t take time away from sleep or physical activity.

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