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Colorado Considering Banning Smartphones for Children Under 13


Children watch a smartphone screen showing the live broadcast of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match between Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, and South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol, at Lee's Baduk Center in Seoul, South Korea.


This is What’s Trending Today….

The American state of Colorado is considering a ban on smartphones for children younger than 13.

A Denver-based doctor - and father - is leading the effort. Tim Farnum is the founder of a group called ‘Parents Against Underage Smartphones.’

His proposal would ban sales of smartphones to children under the age of 13. It would also bar sales to anyone who wishes to buy such a device for anyone younger than 13.

The measure would also require sellers of smartphones to provide proof to the state government that they have asked buyers if the phone is for anyone under 13.

The proposal only concerns smartphones, and not cell phones without internet service.

The measure now needs about 300,000 signatures in order to appear on Colorado’s statewide ballot in 2018. If it makes the ballot and is approved by voters, Colorado would become the first state to have such a ban.

Tim Farnum said he decided to push for the measure after watching his own children struggle with the mental effects of always having a smartphone around.

“They would get the phones and lock themselves in the room and change who they were,” he told The Coloradoan newspaper.

State Senator John Kefalas, a Democrat, said he understands the reasoning behind the proposed law. However, he told The Coloradoan that a child’s smartphone usage is a “family matter” and not something the government should decide.

Ultimately, this comes down to parents...making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines for media use by children. The group advised parents to limit time spent watching videos to no more than one hour a day of high-quality programming until age 6. After that, it said, parents should set reasonable time limits for their children and make sure electronic devices do not take time away from sleep or exercise.

And that’s What’s Trending Today…

I’m Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

lock - v. to fasten the door, lid, etc., of (something) with a lock

guideline - n. a rule or instruction that shows or tells how something should be done — usually plural​

ultimately - adj. at the most basic level : in the central or most important way

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