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When is it okay to give kids cell phones?




An Iraqi boy laughs as he uses a mobile phone at a shop in Baghdad on March 17, 2008.
An Iraqi boy laughs as he uses a mobile phone at a shop in Baghdad on March 17, 2008.
Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

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They’re already ubiquitous with teenagers. But what’s the right age to let kids have cell phones? Parents love the security of knowing they can get in touch with their children at any time. But they also have that nagging worry about the potential health hazards from the cell phones’ electromagnetic emissions. What impact does youthful mobile phone ownership have on the development of social skills? To what extent is peer pressure a factor with kids in wanting phones? And can kids really learn independence if their parents are always a ring away? Larry asks KPCC listeners: when is it ok to give cell phones to kids? And how should parents guard against over-use?