How young is too young to buy your kid a cell phone?

CREATED Sep 3, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The elementary school years are a time when imagination can take your kids anyplace they want to go. But when it comes to kids and cell phones, are there any guidelines?

On playgrounds, some have already been to a wireless store with mom or dad and walked out with their very own cell phone. Saul Rodriguez with Cricket Wireless tells parents to slow down, make it a privilege and set some ground rules.

"Put a carrot in front of them and say, ‘You get an A, you get to upgrade into a smartphone next time,’" he said.

Responsibility is a big thing. Is your child responsible enough to handle it? Accidents happen. Children have cost nearly $3 billion in damage to electronic devices, in repairs and replacements, since 2007, according to protection plan company Square Trade.

A third of the damage is food or drink related, with milk being the main culprit. And boys are more likely than girls to cause damage.

Kids as young as six are getting cell phones these days. One parent, who's not on board, said her kids will get cell phones when they have a job and can afford it on their own.