Colorado voters may consider ban on childhood smartphones

Colorado voters to consider nation's first legal age limits on kids and smartphones

That aside, such a ban is unlikely to stop young children from acquiring smartphones if they're determined; after all, the average 12-year-old is more likely to buy a friend's old handset than go to the store alone and purchase a new phone without an adult to authorize it.

According to the ballot initiative, should a retailer violate the proposed law and sell a smartphone to a child under the age of 13, they would first receive a written warning, and then be hit with a $500 fine for their second transgression.

Colorado dad and Denver-area anesthesiologist Tim Farnum has always understood the intrigue of modern technology.

A Common Sense Media report found the number of kids who had used them nearly doubled between 2011 and 2013, while an Influence Central study revealed kids get their first smartphones at an average age of 10.

The ban would require cellphone retailers to ask customers how old the primary user of the smartphone is.

"We have age restrictions on all those things because they're harmful to kids", Farnum said. "I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk".

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Farnum discovered that extended screen time doesn't just cause a straight-up lack of socialization (a given, if your head is buried in a phone), but can actually have some deteriorating, negative effects on children's brains as well. "I think ultimately, this comes down to parents. making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk". 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. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, told The Colorodoan.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk. The group has the backing of several state officials who have now prepared it for a proposed ballot measure.

Farnum's proposal is still a long ways off from becoming reality.

"I think it's good that we're all going to get to vote on it", he said.

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend avoiding screen time, besides video chatting, for children under 18 months. After that, parents should set time limits that do not interfere with sleep or physical activity.

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