June 5, 2008

Japanese Government Takes a Stand on Cell-Phones

Did you see this headline? Very interesting read. Turns out Japanese children are becoming very addicted to the Internet at very young ages due to their cell phones. These phones have a technology called "3G" or third generation which has very high-speed Internet access. Examples you may be familiar with are Smartphones like the Treo or Blackberry.

The Catch-22 here is that with the long commutes many of these kids face heading to schools, parents rely on cell phones to be able to communicate with their kids and have their kids call them or for help if needed.

A huge amount of Japanese kids have these cell phones. According to CNN, 1/3 of 6th graders and 60% of 9th graders. Two solutions the Japanese Government is exploring to make cell phone use more appropriate for their children include:

1. better filtering programs for the Internet to protect kids for inappropriate access
2. development of cell phones with only talk-only and GPS features

How do you advise your families about cell phones? Do you think we need similar restrictions in the USA? I'd love to know! Email me at cocmeditor@pediatricsnow.com.