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Published September 16, 2011, 10:18 PM

How young is too young for a cell phone?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Every parent wants to keep tabs on their children and many times that can mean giving them a cell phone at a very young age. But how young is too young?

Every parent wants to keep tabs on their children and many times that can mean giving them a cell phone at a very young age. But how young is too young?

At first they were only for adults, then a right of passage when you got your drivers license. Now kids are getting cell phones as young as seven. In a survey conducted by Verizon Wireless, nearly 10% of children had a cell phone by age 9, and more than 82% of children had a phone before they turned 16.

Laura Sokolofsky – Counselor Jefferson Elementary: “It's a new phenomenon, we also know a lot of people don't have home phones anymore so cell phones become a way to reach parents and also a way for parents to reach them.”

Parents we spoke with cited safety issues as the main reason for getting a getting there kids a phone in their early years.

Lynette Danuser - Parent: “I feel better for myself I they have it, so they can contact. And we can always block numbers.”

Mary Alshubbary - Parent: “You know, if they need to get a hold of you or an emergency or something, so I guess it is a good idea for your kid to have cell phones.”

School Counselors say the trend has picked up tremendously over the last three years, and now an estimated 30-percent of fifth graders in Fargo have access to some sort of mobile device.

Laura Sokolofsky: “Children need limits, they need to know what's okay and what's not okay.”

And setting limits was the item parents cited as the most important topic to discuss with children at more than 37%. In the survey, 7.5% of parents said they would never get there child a cell phone.

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