Parents Against Underage Smartphones: Colorado group looks to ban them for children under 13

DENVER, Colorado -- In Colorado, there's a new grassroots effort to stop the sale of cell phones for use by children under the age of 13.

According to KDVR, the group, Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS), is collecting signatures to get the initiative on the 2018 ballot.

Colorado officials have cleared the language of the proposed ballot measure, the Associated Press reported Sunday, June 18th. Supporters need about 300,000 signatures.

"The ban would require cellphone retailers to ask customers about the age of the primary user of a smartphone and submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue on adhering to the requirement," the AP reported. "Retailers who sell a phone for use by a youngster could be fined $500, after a warning."

KDVR spoke with the founder of the PAUS group, Dr. Timothy Farnum, who is a board certified anesthesiologist. Farnum said once children get a cell phone, they change.

“They go from being outgoing, energetic, interested in the world and happy, to reclusive. They want to spend all their time in their room. They lose interest in outside activities." Farnum said.

Farnum said even toddler can experience speech and language difficulties after constantly looking at screens.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued the following guidelines for cell phone use by children: