Mobile media are not for the youngest
There is no correct age at which children should get a mobile, but they should be mature before they receive their first phone. 11-14 years of age might be appropriate,” says Patrik Faubert, director of France’s Motorola agent Binatone.
by Oystein Samnoen
Kids and Media interviewed the director during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the World’s largest consumer electronics fair.
“Children want phones, but parents are responsible for when and which model they give their children. Parents should think about which functions they want their child’s phone to have, amongst other things to avoid children using a lot of money,” he says to Kids and Media. “My own children want phones, but they’ll have to wait until they’re 12 – 13 years old,” the director tells us.
Worried about radiation risk
The director gives us several reasons why children should not receive mobile phones too early. “I am also concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the effect of mobile radiation on children,” says Faubert.
France’s government proposed in November to ban mobile phones in secondary schools. This comes because 11% of 2 500 international studies on mobile use show that mobile radiation represents a health risk. The proposal will be treated in France’s National Assembly in January 2010.
“I believe that several countries will follow France’s example,” says Faubert, “At present we don’t know enough, it’s too early to say.” He believes one should be cautious when it comes to children.
We have noticed an increase in interest for tracking services,” says Faubert. “We are developing tools for mobile phones which give parents the ability to know where their children are. Parents can for example define areas their children are allowed to be in, and both parent and child can receive a message via phone or a tracking alarm if the child should leave the area. Many parents worry about where their children are,” he says. “I think the service is controversial, and this will not be suited to France. Parents should inform their children if they are using tracking services,” is Faubert’s opinion.
Kids and Media met Patrick Faubert, Managing Director of the Motorola-agent Binatone France in Las Vegas. (Photo: Kids and Media)
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