"I don't think it's the most effective way to deal with a real problem that our children spend too much time on the computer or too much time looking down at their phones", Kefalas said.
Colorado officials have recently cleared the language of the initiative, but it will now need about 300,000 voter signatures to make it onto the 2018 ballot. Farnum says he started fighting for a ban after seeing his own kids "lock themselves in their room and change who they were" as a result of having access to smartphones. Which is why he and some colleagues in Colorado drafted legislation to establish age limits on smartphone sales to kids under 13, Colorado Ballot Initiative No. 29.
Smartphone sellers in Colorado might be asked to get information about the age of the primary user of the mobile phones they sell.
The announcement is seen as a way to begin the conversation here and throughout the nation whether to put the powerful tool in the hands of kids below 13 years of age or not.
If violated, retailers would be warned and then fined for subsequents offenses. Retailers would also be required to submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
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Reactions have been mixed from parents, kids, and even state senator John Kefalas, who told The Coloradan that he "thinks it should remain a family matter". "I think ultimately, this comes down to parents. making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk".
For Dr. David Hill, chair of the Communications and Media Executive Committee at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the group's fight against child smartphone use is "well meaning", but the evidence showing that phones cause developmental problems is not quite there yet.
Too much technology too soon can impair children's brain.
For children younger than 18 months: Avoid screen time, except video chatting. Watch it with your kids and help them understand how it connects to the world around them. According to the AAP, it's now recommended that a child's exposure to screen time be limited to no more than one hour per day of "high-quality programming" until they've reached the age of six, at which point parents are encouraged to set "consistent time limits" that would ensure their child's use of electronic devices doesn't take time away from their sleep or physical activity.
Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.