An increasing number of young children are using smart phones.
An increasing number of young children are using smart phones. MangoStar_Studio

Do four-year-olds need smart phones?

SHOULD we be buying children smart phones this Christmas?

According to a recent survey by finder.com.au, surveys reveal that around 690,000 Australian children own a smart phone.

They also revealed some children in this figure are as young as four years old.

Trudi Reick from Kingaroy's Fone Fix 8 believes the issue doesn't revolve around owning a phone, but the applications children can access on it.

"Kids definitely need phones for safety reasons, so I personally don't think there should be an age limit,” she said.

"However, if I had a child in primary school, I wouldn't want them to be carrying around a mobile. Especially with access to Facebook and other social media like that.

"I think there should always be a lock that will restrict access to social media apps for kids. The main concern is social media rather than phone use itself.”

According to finder.com.au's Tech Expert Alex Kidman, many parents are considering purchasing smart phones for their children this Christmas.

"For parents, smart phones provide reassurance that they'll be able to reach their child in the event of an emergency. However, the number of hours kids are spending on screens each day is increasing,” he said.

"There's no doubt about it, mobiles are disruptive. Parents also need to promote a healthy balance between screen time and other activities such as homework or playing outdoors.”