VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Is your kid begging for a smart phone with their back-to-school get up?

A survey is looking at what age parents feel is the best to get their child their first cell phone.

The survey, conducted for President’s Choice by Leger Marketing, found more than half (52 per cent) felt that between 13 and 16 was the best age to give kids their own phone, while 31 per cent felt that teens should be 17 or older before taking on the responsibility. Ten per cent felt that between age nine and 12 was the right time.

Nadine Silverthorne with Today’s Parent Online believes needs are different from family to family.

“Kids, once they’re 11 and 12 and home alone potentially after school, that sort of thing, that’s the time you might want to start having those discussions,” she says. “But we’ve heard of kids as young as seven and eight having cell phones.”

“We’re looking for things, as more of us work outside of the home, to help us feel comfortable and help us know where our child is at all times,” she adds.

Of course, there’s always the whining argument on how ‘everyone else has one!’

“I don’t think having a cell phone at a really young age really gives a child an advantage over another child,” Silverthorne tells News1130.

She says no matter what the age, having a chat with your child about using a smart phone safely and responsibly is important. There are, of course, inherent risks with sexting trends and new forms of cyber-bullying.

Silverthorne suggests keeping an open dialogue with your kids.

“Having an adult conversation with your child in an age-appropriate way, where you are telling your child, ‘these things come with being able to use a cell phone or the Internet,’ I think that’s they way to educate and prevent those things from happening,” she says.

“If they’re not afraid of getting into trouble about it, they’re more likely to tell you when an issue comes up,” Silverthorne adds. “They’re more likely to come to you and say, ‘I saw this inappropriate thing, or so and so said something about so and so, what should I do about it?’”