Doctor dad wants to stop preteens from using smartphones

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

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

A Colorado group is looking to curb the sales of cellphones to children under 13 years old and officials in the state have cleared the language for a proposed ballot measure.

The smartphone ban campaign is led by Denver-based dad and doctor Tim Farnum, a board-certified anesthesiologist. For those under 6, parents should restrict screen time to no more than an hour a day of high-quality programming. Too much technology too soon can impair brain development, hinder social skills and trigger an unhealthy reliance on the neurotransmitter dopamine, a high similar to what drug and alcohol addicts feel.

Which totally makes sense, right?

Farnum and his allies have proposed Initiative 29, which would forbid stores from allowing the sale of smartphones to anyone under 13-or anyone who indicates the phone will be owned by anyone under 13. A general rule for parents of children of all ages is to not let devices like smartphones and tablets impact on sleep or exercise and physical activity. Because while limiting screen time may have health benefits, it's also important to be connected to the world, to our friends, and to our families today - and a lot of the time doing so involves our tech BFF.

The ban would require retailers to ask customers how old they are, or how old the primary user of the smartphone will be. "I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk".

Retailers caught violating the ban would first receive a warning.

"It seems to me like it needs to be more of a cultural conversation that's more nuanced than that", Suzanne Null, an associate professor at Fort Lewis College, told the Herald. "I think ultimately, this comes down to parents. making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk".

The group cites recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatricians that suggest smartphone use by children can be detrimental, and equates smartphone use by children with underage drinking.

Parents Against Underage Smartphones is now collecting signatures in an effort to get a measure on the 2018 ballot.

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

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

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