Cell phone ownership increasing among young children

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The cell phone has rapidly evolved in the last ten years. But cell phone ownership has been rapidly increasing in the hands of young children. According to the American Express Spending and Savings Tracker more than half of parents think it is okay for their kids to have cell phones as young as the age of 12.

"With a cell phone my children and I can keep in contact with each other. They can communicate more with their friends," said Shannon Herbert, the mother of two children.

But some parents disagree with cell phones for kids. Another mother we spoke with says cell phones won't come anytime soon.

"I believe when they are old enough to pay for it they can have one," she said.

Cell phone vendors like AT&T Wireless on Siegen Lane says they have seen children younger than 12 get a cellular device. Store associate Chantal Rose said just today, a five year old received a phone from his parents.

Rose gave some insight on the matter. "It could be for many reasons. Sometimes it's just because he needs [his parents] at school," said Rose.

Louisiana's AT&T Public Relations Manager Sue Sperry says phones can help parents.

"It's worth it for the peace of mind no matter what age the child is to have a communications device directly with the youngster," said Sperry.

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