When is the right time to give a child a cell phone?

Just curious for your opinion on the right age to give a child a cell phone? We’re letting our grade five walk home on her own after school a few times a week, and I’m considering it. I’m just concerned with the texting and lack of control.

There is no specific age when a child should use a cell phone. There have been concerns raised about the health risks of excessive cell phone use in children (and adults) but the data is not clear. See for example this page on Health Canada.

Your interest is in your child’s use of a phone for safety. I would say go ahead. You can control her use of texting by setting down strict rules of whom she is to text. Depending on the plan with the telephone company, you may be able to track her use. You have every right to monitor her use.

A cell phone is a tool. It does have benefits but also risk. You can minimize risks by keeping in close touch with your daughter’s use.

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