A campaign in Colorado seeks to stop kids under 13 years of age from spending too much time on smartphones by banning retailers from selling smartphones for use by children.
Retailers would also have to verbally ask a customer the age of the person the phone would be for. They would have to submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue stating they had done this.
Retailers who sell a phone for use by a youngster could be fined $500, after a warning.
Denver-area dad Tim Farnum is behind the proposed ballot initiative that would be the first of its kind in the country. Farnum is a doctor and tells The Coloradoan that smartphones are bad for young brains. "They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were", Farnum said.
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The doctors recommended restricting screen time to no more than an hour a day of high-quality programming until age 6, after which parents should set consistent time limits and make sure electronic devices don't take time away from sleep or physical activity.
Parents Against Underage Smartphones is now collecting signatures in an effort to get a measure on the 2018 ballot.
Farnum said he was inspired to start the campaign after witnessing his children's addiction to smartphones.
But this process is far from easy, and the law has already attracted criticism. Democratic state Sen. John Kefalas, for instance, said that he understands the reasoning behind the proposal but noted that it would overstep the role of the government. "Ultimately, this comes down to parents. making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk".
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