BOSTON (CBS) – A proposed ballot measure would make it illegal for parents to buy phones for kids who are 12 and under in Colorado.

Dr. Tim Farnum is leading the charge. He says a generation is locked in on devices, crowding out other activities.

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Dr. Tim Farnum (WBZ-TV)

“What we’re doing to kids is not right. We’re abandoning kids to technology and it’s doing them a lot of harm,” Dr. Farnum said. “The kids aren’t playing out there anymore. There are certain critical stages of development that are not happening.”

The Colorado proposal would outlaw smartphone sales for kids under 13. Stores would have to ask about the age of the intended user and could face fines for multiple violations.


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WBZ’s Jim Smith did not find much appetite for a law here in Massachusetts.

Ashley Tucker of Medway is 10 years old and got a smartphone as a hand-me-down. “Most people in my school, they’re mostly under 13, and almost everyone has a phone,” Ashley says.


“I think with parental supervision and permission it’s OK within limits I don’t know if I think a law needs to be passed,” Pam Tucker, Ashley’s mother said. “I take it away sometimes if there’s homework or dinner. She doesn’t have any social media no Facebook or Snapchat, she’s too young.”

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The proposal would still allow the sale of basic cellphones for kids, just not smartphones with games and apps.