Use of Mobile Phones among Children and Adolescents in Israel and in other countries – Introduction

The use of information and communications technologies has penetrated all of society's levels, including children and adolescents. As part of this trend, the mobile phone has turned into a multi-purpose communications and information device that is characterized by rapidly-changing advanced technologies.


Youngsters are avid users of the Internet and wireless devices, and they are generally the first to adapt new technologies. As in adults, use of mobile phones among children and adolescents has increased in Israel and in other countries. A study performed in the USA between 2010 and 2013 has shown that 78% of 12-17 year-olds had a mobile phone and almost half of them had a smart phone. A survey conducted in Israel in 2013 (Hebrew) has shown that about 25% of children aged 6-8 years had a mobile phone, increasing to 91% in children aged 12-14.

  Little girl talking on the mobile phone


Additional trends observed in various studies recently conducted in this field were decreased age in which mobile phones are first used, increased use of mobile phoned for surfing the web, increased use of smart phones with increasing age.


Mobile phones emit non-ionizing radiation, therefore mobile phone users are exposed to this type of radiation. In this section we only relate to the use of mobile phones among children and adolescents; however, nowadays children are also exposed to other radiation-emitting devices such as tablets and laptop computers, whose use has also increased. Moreover, in addition to personal use, information and communications technologies have also been implemented in the education system. For example, within in the framework of the advanced model of the Israeli National Computerization Program, every student in the classroom has a tablet or a laptop computer. 


In this section we have gathered data from recently performed studies in Israel and other countries on the extent of mobile phone use among children and adolescents and additional characteristics that relate to use of mobile phones.