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Half of British children aged 5 to 9 own a mobile phone

(62 Posts)
Madsometimes Tue 23-Jun-09 10:47:09

An article in the Times claims that half of young children now have their own mobile phone, and manufacturers are planning on targeting a handset at children.

I personally only know one 9 year old with his own phone. He uses it to call his Dad who lives apart from his mother. I'm not sure how accurate this article is.

My dds will be getting a phone when they go to secondary school and not before. I'm still rather nervous about the risks of using a phone. I'm also nervous about how much money dd1 will be spending on calls and texts.

pagwatch Tue 23-Jun-09 10:50:36

MY DS1 got his first when he was 10 as he needed it for weird school route.

DD will not get one before that age - at the earliest.
I don't know anyone under ten who has one

Tortoise Tue 23-Jun-09 10:53:22

My DS2 is 9 and has one but it is my old cast off and he mainly uses it for the mp3 player and games. Quite a few of his friends have one too.

differentID Tue 23-Jun-09 10:54:21

I only know 1 child in that age bracket well and he does have one- has for 2 years.
Rarely uses it though.

AnarchyAunt Tue 23-Jun-09 10:54:56

I actually don't believe that.

I do not know a single 5 to 9 yo wit their own mobile.

Hassled Tue 23-Jun-09 10:55:26

DS2 has just got one - 11th birthday present. Most of his mates got theirs for 11th birthdays - I think the Times is talking out of its arse, tbh. I don't know a single 5-8 year old with a phone, and only a couple of 9 year olds.

nametaken Tue 23-Jun-09 11:01:41

Another one who thinks the times is talking out of it's arse. What did they do? Ask every child in the country whether they had a mobile phone. They didn't ask my kids.

scarletlilybug Tue 23-Jun-09 11:01:44

My dd has one - she's 8. She uses it very rarely - mostly when she's off doing "activities", (e.g. tennis), just in case she needs to contact me in an emergency. It's not for chatting with friends on.

Some people are surprised that she has one... OTOH, whan I was that age, I always had 10p in my pocket in case in needed to use a payphone. Don't see the difference, really.

I find tha statistc hard to believe - few of her friends have a phone, and of those who do, it is used in a similar way (i.e. emergencies only).

Overmydeadbody Tue 23-Jun-09 11:04:44

So how did they come up with those figures? I don't know any 5-9 yr olds with mobile phones.

Buda Tue 23-Jun-09 11:10:33

My nephew is 10 and got one for Xmas - he uses it mostly for downloads and games. The odd text.

His younger sis is almost 9 and bought herself one with money she was give for her communion. She uses hers for the same things.

I can't say I agree with it tbh.

My DS is 7 and wants a mobile phone, a laptop and an iPod! He will get none of them just yet. Maybe a cheap MP3 player for his birthday or Xmas.

gingertoo Tue 23-Jun-09 11:22:19

No, I don't believe that either. My older Dcs are 8 and 10 and I can only think of one of their friends who has a mobile....

My ten year old will be 11 in October and is desperate to have a mobile phone. I wanted to hang on til he goes to secondary school the following September when there will actually be a need for him to have one (he'll have quite a long journey with a bus change half way) but I'm starting to realise it's not really about 'need' is it? It's another treasured lifestyle accessory for kids like a games console or an Ipod......

talbot Tue 23-Jun-09 11:55:49

I just do not believe those figures.

MaggieBeau Tue 23-Jun-09 11:58:20

I'd like to see a breakdown of those figures, how many of those children who DO have a mobile phone have one because when they go to their Dad's place, they should be able to ring their mUms or receive a call from their Mums.

I suppose 3 yrs ago I would have said it was absolutely ludicrous for a 7 yr olf to have a phone (my does not, yet, ahve a phone) but if she were to go away over night to her dad's I might get her a pay as you go and tell her to ring me at night if she felt she needed to.

lljkk Tue 23-Jun-09 11:59:51

I don't believe the figures, either. I do know a few children under 10 who have a mobile, but vast majority of DC friends do not.

MaggieBeau Tue 23-Jun-09 12:00:02

ps, if I DO do that though, I would obviously buy the phone myself, so how it would show up in any set of statistics as belonging to a child I don't know!!

naomi83 Tue 23-Jun-09 12:38:14

I live abroad and teach in an elementary school. Over half my eight year olds have phones, and the majority of my ten or eleven year olds. I know cos I confiscate them on a daily basis! I don't know about UK but a child friendly phone is definately needed elsewhere.

NikkiH Tue 23-Jun-09 12:47:06

DS1 got his phone for his 10th birthday which fell at the end of Year 5. When his class teacher did a survey mid way through year 5 asking how many of the children had a mobile, he and his bestfriend were the only children without one!

I was hoping to hold out until he started secondary school but peer pressure forced our hand. On the other hand it has proved useful in that he is often dropped off for swimming lessons (at least 1.5 hours long) and arrangements can change at the last minute so at least I know he can ring us to come and get him earlier.

Also he has started cycling to his primary school and has to cross some busy roads so it's reassuring to me that he at least has his phone with him in case there's a problem. He doesn't usually take it to school though.

onagar Tue 23-Jun-09 12:56:34

If a child will be out of your sight then it's good they have a phone for emergencies and for you to check on them. I think you can block them from using them all the time and running up huge bills, but being able to be in contact is a good thing.

5 is a bit young since I'm not sure they'd be going places on their own anyway.

Wish we had them when I was about 9 though. I could go more or less anywhere with my mates as long as I said first where I'd be. So I had to keep coming home to say "we're going to so and so's house now"

amateurmum Tue 23-Jun-09 13:04:59

I teach Y4. Some children have a phone but it is mostly children in single parent families who use it to talk to the parent they are not staying with at the time.

Although I think 8/9 is a little young (my ds had one for his 11th birthday and we were a little reluctant even then), this use of thems seems to work well.

holdingittogether Tue 23-Jun-09 13:16:58

Ds1 is 9 and has dh's old phone with a pay as you go sim in it. Mostly it is hardly used. A few of his mates also have phones but they don't have each other's numbers so cant use up all the credit texting and calling them. He has only recently started to go out to play with his friends in the local park and sometimes he takes it with him but mostly he forgets. I am glad we have it and I'm glad he knows how to use it so we are all prepared for when he might be ready to venture further away or stay out longer.

mumblechum Tue 23-Jun-09 13:19:28

I don't believe that statistic.

Galava Tue 23-Jun-09 13:19:59

DS had one at 8.

Its an old hand me down and only ever used to play games on.

VeraChuckandDave Tue 23-Jun-09 13:22:25

My 9yo niece tells me that only one child in her class has a phone.

paisleyleaf Tue 23-Jun-09 13:23:35

I know alot of people think it's silly (or IABU)
but I do worry about the health risks for children as their skulls are softer/thinner.

Maybe there are that many children with phones....aren't the new DS's (nintendo) also phones?

janinlondon Tue 23-Jun-09 13:24:30

Can I just ask - those of you with kids with mobile phones, do they actually remember to charge them? My DD couldn't remember to clean her own teeth if I didn't remind her, so am interested to hear if these children are somehow more organized than I suspect she would be....

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