Talk Show: Number of Kids with Cell Phones Nearly Doubles Since 2005

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Big Kids, Research Reveals: Tweens, Research Reveals: Teens

Yo, Mom! Hurry home -- this diaper isn't changing itself. LOL! Credit: Corbis

Do your children constantly nag you for their own cell phones? From the looks of it, many parents are giving in.

A survey from Mediamark Research and Intelligence, shows the number of kids with mobile phones has almost doubled since 2005, according to a report from The New York Times. And while 21.8 percent of girls and 18.3 percent of boys are gabbing on their own phones, the boys are quickly narrowing the gap -- it's about half that of 2005, The Times says.

So, just how old are we talking here? The market research company says most of the children with cell phones were 10 or 11 -- 36.1 percent of kids in that age range had phones [an increase of 80.5 percent], The Times reports.

According to the American Kids Study, cell phone ownership among children is up 68 percent in the past five years. Most kids use their phones to check in with Mom and Dad, but they're also playing games, surfing the Web and texting friends, too.
"This large increase in cell phone ownership, particularly among boys, comes as more wireless providers are targeting parents through feature-rich, kid friendly phones such as Disney Mobile's LG Phone and the Firefly Communications FlyPhone," Mediamark's Anne Marie Kelly says in a prepared statement. "Preliminary data suggests that boys and girls may use their phones differently. Girls are more apt to make calls and send text messages while boys are more likely to instant message, access the Internet and download games, music and video."

Here's a breakdown of what kids ages 6 to 11 are doing with their phones:

  • Call my parents: 88.1 percent
  • Call friends: 68.1 pecent
  • Emergency purposes: 55.7 percent
  • Text messaging: 54.1
  • Play games: 49 percent
  • Take pictures: 47.8 percent
  • Listen to music: 34.4 percent
  • Picture messaging: 24.2 percent
  • Download ringtones: 16.5 percent
Related: More Families Stay in Touch Via Cell Phones, Texts

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.