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An Apple Watch for Your Five-Year-Old?

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Florian and Felix Fangohr wearing Apple Watches

Florian Fangohr (left) purchased an Apple Watch SE for his 8-year-old because he wanted his son "to explore," he said.

Credit: Chona Kasinger / The New York Times

Parents in the U.S. are increasingly buying Apple Watches as a short-term substitute for cellphones for children as young as five years old. Apple released the Apple Watch SE as a child-friendly product with fewer features than a premium model, with software allowing parents to track children's location, manage their contacts list, and restrict their notifications.

Although any technology used by children invites questions about risks and harms, Jim Steyer with nonprofit family media/technology reviewer Common Sense Media says smart watches' capabilities are innately limited. They also have a minimal number of applications and no Web browser or camera, reducing children's exposure to games and adult content, he says.

Author Jean M. Twenge, who focuses on technology's contribution to generational differences, thinks receiving a smartphone later means children will be more capable of managing the risks of smartphone ownership.

From The New York Times
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