Colorado voters may consider ban on childhood smartphones

  • Colorado voters may consider ban on childhood smartphones

Colorado voters may consider ban on childhood smartphones

Coloradans could be the first in the nation to decide whether smartphones should be sold to kids younger than age 13.

Farnum's proposal, ballot initiative no. 29, would make it illegal for cellphone providers to sell smartphones to children under the age of 13. PAUS, apparently serious despite its difficult-to-take-seriously name, is proceeding with a ballot initiative in Colorado that seeks to ban smartphone sales to preteen children, citing their potentially addictive nature and possible health ramifications. They would have to submit a monthly report to the Colorado Department of Revenue stating they had done this. The second violation in a two-year span would initiate a $500 fine, and subsequent violations could escalate to as much as $20,000.

When asked about the proposed age restriction, CTIA, a trade group that represents the wireless technology industry, said in a statement, "mobile phones can empower kids to learn, engage and communicate with family, teachers and friends, and we encourage parents to talk with their children about responsible use and set rules that are right for their family".

Farnum began work on the law after seeing his own children become addicted to their smartphones. He says that he saw his own kids having to deal with the effects of always needing to have a device held in their hands.

The nonprofit Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS) is behind the proposal. "I think it's a good idea because I think that we're losing our kids", McGuinness said.

"I think it's excellent", said Rebecca Schaad, a Colorado Springs-area mother of three children, ages 17, 14, and 7. Their petition requires about 150,000 signatures in order to get considered for Colorado's ballot.

Democratic state Senator John Kefalas said he understands the reasoning behind the proposed law but it would overstep the government's role. I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk.

He said he was inspired by his children, who were constantly distracted to the extent that they'd "get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were", according to The Coloradoan. "Ultimately, this comes down to parents ... making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk".

Scientists noticed that children and parents were more focused on their device screens rather than bonding with each other and forging a strong relationship.

Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.