CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Technology is something that most of us use everyday. Even children are getting their hands on it at an early age. Experts warn though, some may be too young to have that kind of technology right at their fingertips.

We live in a world where technology is all around us and it seems like kids are getting cell phones at a younger age than ever before. Studies show kids are ready for a phone by age 13, but this decision really boils down to your child’s maturity and the phone’s necessity.

According to the Pew Research Center, 45% of parents think it’s acceptable for kids to have a phone between the ages of 12 and 14. While 16% think it’s fine to let kids as young as 9 have their own phones.

Setting and maintaining reasonable boundaries around technology is now a fundamental part of parenting but without guidance, they’re at significant risk of smartphone addiction.

Those side effects can include limited sleep, poor academic performance, and increased anxiety and depression. There are techniques for keeping a close watch on your child’s screen time:

  • Know the password to the child’s phone, and that you have the right to take it away.
  • Set limits on how much they use the phone throughout the day.
  • Determine what the consequences will be if the phone is lost or broken. Will it be replaced? And, if so, who will pay for it?
  • Monitor the social media sites that your kids use, and make them aware that you are doing it.

While you may choose to enforce different rules, experts say to make sure they are clear from the very beginning and establish consequences if these guidelines are not followed.