DENVER (CBS4) – A new type of cellphone is being marketed to children as young as 5 years old and people are wondering if that’s too young.
The phone is from Sprint and isn’t yet available in Denver stores, but is being advertised all over the Internet. It has a string to pull in case of emergency and parents can program in very specific numbers their children are allowed to call.
The marketing campaign is targeting five to 12-year-olds, and while that may sound young, many children already have cellphones.
In the third grade class at Bromwell Elementary School students have more than books in their backpacks. Student Ashley Thomas got her cellphone at age eight.
“I mainly got it just for calling my parents,” said Thomas.
She says she’s very responsible with her phone, using it only before and after school.
Bromwell Principal Jody Cohn is surprised by the number of phones but understands they can be useful.
“As long as the intended purpose is that for communication for family and school I’m okay with that,” said Cohn.
However, some parents are still resisting the high-tech trend for their young children.
“I have an 8-year-old and 11-year-old and I don’t feel there’s a need for them to have cellphones because they’re not in any situations where there’s need to call me,” said one parent.
Thomas says her phone is nice since her mother occasionally runs late picking her up. She also says that having a phone doesn’t really matter in changing her social status.
“I think me having a phone really doesn’t matter in popularity,” said Thomas.
Educators say parents who get their child a cellphone should make sure that it stays in the backpack during school hours.