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Children Should Not Have Mobile Phones
January 08, 2004

Children under the age of 13 should not have their own mobile phones according to Norway's Ombudsman for Children Trond Waage. His main concern is the possible damage posed by radiation and fears that children using mobiles become guinea pigs for potential danger, newspaper VG reports.

"We recommend that parents do not give children their own mobile phone until they become teenagers, mainly due to the possible danger of radiation," Waage told the newspaper.

He warned parents about the increasing use of mobiles by children as young as seven years of age in a society rapidly becoming obsessed with the modern gadgets.

"We know too little about what radiation from ever more powerful mobile telephones can do to children under the age of 13. We must not use them as guinea pigs," Waage said.

The ombudsman has the support of Stein Erik Ulvund, professor of education at Oslo University.

Ulvund believes the mobile phone has become a schoolyard status symbol, and that the increasing use of text messaging among children can create a dependency where the child writes constantly until his account is emptied.

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