If Initiative 29 does go through, smartphone retailers in the state would have to ask customers if a purchased handset is intended for children under 13. Last month, PAUS got the go-ahead on its proposed ballot language from the Secretary of State and now can start work on gathering the almost 300,000 signatures required to get on the ballot in November 2018.
“Retailers must verbally inquire about the age of the intended primary owner of the smartphone prior to the sale, document the response, and file a monthly report to the Department of Revenue”, the proposal states. Those who do sell a smartphone for use by kids could be fined $500 after a warning.
The founder of the group, Dr. Timothy Farnum, a board certified anesthesiologist, said earlier this month that once children get a smartphone, they change.
You tell us: At what age is it appropriate for a kid to have a smartphone?
“The kids aren’t playing out there anymore”, Farnum told CBS Denver. They never left their bedrooms, and when he tried to take away the phones, one of Farnum’s sons launched into a temper tantrum that the dad described as equivalent to the withdrawals of a crack addict.
“I think it should remain a family matter”, Kefalas said.
Senator John Kefalas agrees with the parents’ concern but thinks it should not be the government’s business. I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk.
He would then do his own research, finding that too much technology can brain development impairment, hinder social skills and an unhealthy dependence on the neurotransmitter dopamine.
“We have age restrictions on all those things because they’re harmful to kids”, Farnum told The Washington Post when comparing smartphone access to equivalents like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.
Be Civil – It’s OK to have a difference in opinion but there’s no need to be a jerk.
Farnum’s proposal is still a long ways off from becoming reality.
“Ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk”, he said.
For children between 2 and 5 years old: Limit screen time to 1 hour a day of “high quality” programs. Some parents have revealed that smartphones have directly affected their children’s upbringing with some locking themselves out from the world and their families. Kids 6 and older should have consistent time limits on screen time to make sure it isn’t taking time away from sleep or physical activity.