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Kids Under 12 Getting Smartphones Earlier

Smartphones are becoming ever more popular for kids, with more than one in three Australian children under 12 now having a phone.

A survey by finder.com.au of 1033 parents revealed that 35 per cent of kids under 12 have a smartphone, up 13 percentage points from 2018, with the average age a child receives their first phone sitting at just 7.5 years or eight years in regional areas.

According to Angus Kidman, tech specialist at Finder, the average age of first smartphone ownership is decreasing, with parents typically turning to cheaper pre-paid plans.

“At what age your child gets their first phone depends on personal circumstances. For instance, if they’re taking a solo bus trip to school every day, a mobile phone might give you peace of mind that they’re safe.

“Or you might simply want to put an end to the incessant requests for their own phone because all their friends have one.

“Most pre-paid plans allow unlimited calls and texts, and if you’re concerned about them spending hours scrolling the web endlessly, you can choose a plan with a lower data allowance,” he said.

NSW has the highest rate of smartphone ownership among children under 12 at 45 per cent; WA comes in second at 35 per cent, Victoria third at 31 per cent, and Queensland and SA trail the pack at 30 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

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