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Children as young as 13 attending 'smartphone rehab' as concerns grow over screen time

Published: April 16, 2017
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Source: The Independent

Children refusing to put down their phones is a common flashpoint in many homes, with a third of British children aged 12 to 15 admitting they do not have a good balance between screen time and other activities.

But in the US, the problem has become so severe for some families that children as young as 13 are being treated for digital technology addiction.

One ‘smartphone rehab’ centre near Seattle has started offering residential “intensive recovery programs” for teenagers who have trouble controlling their use of electronic devices.

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A recent survey of 1,500 parents found that, on average, UK children own their first mobile phone by the age of seven, followed by a tablet aged eight and a smartphone aged 10.

And a report published last year by Ofcom found that 64 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 and 65 per cent of parents of children in that age group said the teenagers’ “screen time” was under control.

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