[Sydney Morning Herald] Three-quarters of Australian children aged 12 to 14 own a mobile phone but by the time they are 15 that number surges to 90 per cent, according to figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
"Because it's parents who come in and sign up for the phones it's difficult to say exactly how much this area has grown but the age at which kids get phones is getting younger," says Carmen Gould, head of customer service at retail chain Crazy John's. "Whereas before it was often teenagers getting mobiles, it's not unusual now for parents to buy phones for children as young as eight."
Most parents cite the peace of mind that comes from being able to contact their children at any time as the main reason behind the trend.
"All research into this trend suggests that parents believe that they can improve the safety and security of their children by giving them a phone," says Randal Markey of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.
Are kids becoming phone addicts?