There's an effort underway in Colorado to stop the sale of smartphones for use by kids younger than 13 years old.
The group Parents Against Underage Smartphones is gathering signatures to get Initiative 29 on the 2018 ballot.
Supporters need about 300,000 signatures, and Colorado officials have cleared the proposed ballot measure's language.
The proposal reads:
"Initiative 29 prohibits retailers from selling or permitting the sale of a smartphone to a person under the age of 13, or to any person who indicates that the smartphone will be wholly or partially owned by a person under the age of 13. Retailers must verbally inquire about the age of the intended primary owner of the smartphone prior to the sale, document the response, and file a monthly report to the Department of Revenue."
Retailers who sell a smartphone for preteen use would get a warning for the first offense, but then could get slapped with fines ranging from $500-$20,000 for subsequent violations.
Dr. Timothy Farnum, a board certified anesthesiologist, is the found of Parents Against Underage Smartphones. He says once kids get phones, they change:
“They go from being outgoing, energetic, interested in the world and happy, to reclusive. They want to spend all their time in their room. They lose interest in outside activities. Eventually kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that."
He added that a toddler could experience speech and language difficulties caused by long exposure to screens.