Why Children Shouldn’t have Cell Phones

“Everyone in school has one! How come I can’t get my own cell phone? ” Children today have a higher demand for cell phones at a younger age. Why are cell phones such a necessity to them? Some children say that the use of a phone is if there is an emergency, but how often are they in emergencies? Parents should not become putty in their child’s hands. Cell phones can be a hindrance to your money, your family, and your child’s health. Phones can be the child’s world and rely on their devices to communicate, create expensive phone fees, and have a link to brain cancer.

Children are sometimes unaware of how much they text, call, and use the internet which causes a parent to pay more for the child’s phone plan (Carnegie). In most families with the cell phone paid by parents, the child can freeload off what the parents give them. They will overload with the texting, calling, and internet usage having the parents pay for the extra expenses, including the plan (Carnegie). Some parents might say, “But giving them a cell phone will teach them responsibility! ” It would be true, if only the parents teach them the rules of the phone and plan before giving them the responsibility of a phone.

Verizon asked parents if they set up guidelines and rules for their child’s cell phone; one out of five parents said that they had not set up any rules (Erwin). In addition, they are in danger of cyber bullying, sexting, lack of sleep, and poor grades. Nearly 43% of teens have been victims of cyber bullying, ? of them had it happen more than once (Blough). Cell phones are also a sleep disturbance. More than half of 13- 18 year olds (56%) and nearly half of 19- 29 year olds (42%) say they send, read or receive text messages every night in the hour before bed compared to 15% of 35- 45 year olds and 5% of 46- 64 year olds.

About in one in ten of 13- 18 year olds (9%) say that they are awakened after they go to bed every night by a phone call, text message, or email. About one in five of 19- 29 year olds and 13- 18 year olds (18%) say, this happens at least a few nights a week. Russell Rosenberg, the Vice Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation says, “Unfortunately cell phones and computers, which make our lives more productive and enjoyable, may also be abused to the point that they contribute to getting less sleep at night leaving millions of Americans functioning poorly the next day (N. S. F). ”

Parents need to create guidelines for their child’s phone plan, so that their child is ensured a safe and happy childhood. Placing a cell phone in a child’s hand will drive them away from their own family creating less of a parent to kid relationship. Digital media expert Patricia Greenfield explained in an interview with the New York Times that if you hold off getting your child a cell phone you would maintain better communications between you and your child (Olsen). In addition, children will become more reliant on their phones and if they are apart from their devices, they feel, as they have no purpose in life.

They will base their conversations with friends based on what they talk about through the phone. Children want to improve their social status by impressing their peers. Experts say the social pressure to text can get acute by the sixth grade, when most children are 11 years old. The Pew study found that half of 12- to 17-year-olds sent 50 text messages a day and texted their friends more than they talked to them on the phone or even face to face. Just ask Caroline LaGumina, 11, of New Rochelle, N. Y. , who got her phone last Christmas. “I wanted to be able to text because my friends all text each other (Olsen).”

Cancer can come into affect with cell phones, as children are 2 times more likely to get cancer from cell phone radiation. The frequent exposure to radiation will create a huge increase of brain cancers. The child is more prone to radiation because little children are still developing (EWG). This is because of their small ears, thin skulls, and skin (Reid). The French report, completed for TELECOM ParisTech by Dr. Joe Wiart, found young children have radiation exposures twice that of adults, possibly even higher (Thomas). Shorter studies that are less than 5 years, say that there are no signs of development of brain cancer.

Studies that are running for 7- 20 years, the data collected says that there is a risk of brain cancer. This is because cancer, brain cancer, takes a longer time to develop to show risks (EWG). Parents should always be aware that if you give your child a cell phone that they are in danger of developing brain tumors. In conclusion, children should not have cell phones. The costs of the plans are “Too damn high! ” and children are not responsible enough to have cell phones without guidelines. It will draw your family apart from your child sucked into a virtual world. Cell phones give off radiation, which can cause brain cancer. It is a better idea to get your child their own personal phone when they can follow the rules, learn to balance real word vs. virtual world, and know the effects that cell phones can lead to.


  • Reid, David. Are mobile phones safe for children to use? 5 Aug. 2011. 13 May 2013
  • Thomas, Tessa. As new evidence links mobile phones to a greater risk of tumours, could using one cost your child their life? 3 Nov. 2009. 15 May 2013
  • Olsen, Stefanie. When to Buy Your Child a Cellphone 9 June 2010. 13 May 2013 Carnegie Mellon University. Should Your Child Have a Cell Phone? 17 May 2013
  • National Sleep Foundation. Annual Sleep in America Poll Exploring Connections with Communications Technology Use and Sleep 7 March 2011. 19 May 2013< http://www. sleepfoundation. org/article/press-release/annual-sleep-america-poll-exploring-connections-communications-technology-use>
  • Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use: Cellphone FAQs 15 June 2012. 13 May 2013 Erwin, Erica Study: Many parents not setting rules for children’s cell phone use 21 Sept. 2011. 20 May 2013 Blough, Brooke. Cyber- Bullying 13 Nov. 2012. 20 May 2013

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