Survey: One in Five U.S. Children Under 6 Own a Smartphone

One in five U.S. children (20%) between the ages of 1 and 6 own a smartphone, according to a survey from, a service to sell unwanted items online, surveyed 1,007 U.S. parents about smartphones and children.

In the survey, 29% of parents said they spent more than $100 on their 1 to 6-year-old’s smartphone. Half of parents in the survey agreed the most appropriate age for a child to own a phone is between 10 and 13 years old. The majority (83%) said their children spent up to 21 hours per week on their phones, and 68% of parents said they have not placed limitations on their children’s smartphones

Among the group of parents with young children (1 to 6), respondents said phones are often used for entertainment, such as playing games and watching videos.

Most parents spend up to $200 on their child’s first phone, with 75 percent of parents opting for a new phone versus a refurbished option. While keeping in touch and safety reign as the top reasons parents purchase phones for their children, most children are receiving new phones from top smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple.

Additional data found that among parents whose children currently have their own phones, 87 percent said their kids spend up to 21 hours per week on their devices. Beyond messaging and calls, kids use their phones to play games (45%) and watch videos (37%).

Seventy-one percent of parents have not capped the amount of time their children spend on their phones, but 76 percent closely monitor it. About half (47%) said they allow internet capabilities to be enabled.

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