How Young Is Too Young To Have...

The Last Word With Matt Cooper

How Young Is Too Young To Have A Smartphone?

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This week we heard the disturbing story of a 26-year-old man who groomed young girls online, some of whom were just nine years old.

There have been calls to ban children under the age of 14 from using smartphones - is this right? How young is too young?

Professor Barry O'Sullivan, founding director of the Insight Centre at UCC, doesn't think imposing a ban would be the right thing to do.

"I would be very cautious about giving a child under the age of 12 or 13 a smartphone. We hear about people giving them to kids as young as eight or nine and I have a problem with that, but ultimately it comes down to the parents themselves."

"We should be focusing on educating people to use the technologies."

Harry McCann, director and founder of the Digital Youth Council, adds: "I think a ban is just an excuse and a way for us to shove our responsibilities under the rug."

"We have a huge responsibility to educate young people from a very young age, and I don't think a ban would have any positive effect."

"I think the biggest thing is not to scare people. It's very important for children and parents to have an open relationship, where the discussion is open and young people feel safe."

Harry has put together six online safety tips for parents to share with their children. They can be found on his Twitter account: @TheHarryMcC.


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