When is the right time to buy your kids a cell phone? - WNEM TV 5

When is the right time to buy your kids a cell phone?

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

When is the right time to buy your child a cell phone?

It's always a heated conversation between kids and their parents, but recent events may have changed some parents' minds into buying.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, more parents gave in, valuing the peace of mind they get over the real reasons they tell their child no in the first place - the cost, sexting, a child that texts friends but never talks to you.

The AT&T store in Saginaw Township says every day they deal with parents who are wrestling with the decision.

Like parents, schools are also constantly adjusting to cell phones, and like many other districts in Mid-Michigan, Carrollton asks kids to keep them in their lockers.

Carrollton Superintendent Craig Douglas says in an emergency it's his responsibility to notify police and parents.

He has automated systems with the home and work phone number, plus email addresses of every parent to do just that.

There have also been cases where students and cell phones shut down schools. According to Genesee County prosecutors, five days after Sandy Hook, a 15-year-old boy texted his mother that people were firing guns at Grand Blanc High School. It sent the school into chaos and the boy has been charged with a false report of terrorism.

Despite this double-edged sword of cell phones in schools, Douglas says he is seeing more of them.

A few recent surveys suggest that the age range from 10-12 is when a majority of parents are caving in and getting the kids that first cell phone.

Many parenting experts say hold out as long as possible, then consider a phone that doesn't access the internet and has strict limits on calls and texting.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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