COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - There's a legal age limit to drive, drink, and smoke...but will there soon be one for buying a smartphone?
That's the idea for one Colorado state ballot measure in the works for 2018.
The proposal would ban the sale of smartphones to children younger than 13 years old. Supporters would need 300,000 signatures to get this on the ballot.
Although it's early, the measure is stirring up conversation among parents.
Edwin Gayo, the father of three, is in full support.
"They're not focused on anything, they're always texting, and even during dinner and family time," said Gayo. "You can't get them to do anything, but texting."
Felicia Kowalski, the mother of three young boys, agrees.
"Personally, I think they're on them too much," she said.
However, Lori Curry, also a mother of two, disagrees.
"I think it's up to the parents to monitor what their kids are doing."
About the ballot measure
The proposal would ban the sale of smartphones to children younger than 13 years old.
1. Supporters would need 300,000 signatures to get this on the 2018 ballot.
2. It would also have consequences for retailers that sell a phone to a child under 13. First, comes a warning. Second, comes a $500 fine.
3. The ban would also require cell phone retailers to track the age of their primary iPhone customers. In addition to submitting monthly reports to the Colorado Dept. of Revenue to prove this.
The real question: how can this be enforced? Colorado Springs child psychologist Robert Crouse says it can't.
"To buy one is different than to own one. Parents will just get around that and say they'll just buy their kid one," he said.
Crouse thinks the real solution is restricting use. Especially for children under the age of 11, when their brain is still developing.
"It's very critical and having access to the internet and wifi affects this," he said. "It's like 'what am I teaching my conductor to do? It can be very impactful to the brain."
So is there a solution? Some say yes.
"I think it's up to the parents to monitor what their kids are doing," said Curry.
If and when this proposal makes the ballot and passes in the future, it's still unclear if this will effectively prevent kids from getting their hands on smartphones.
"When you say don't do something, they're just going to want to do it more," said Crouse.