How other countries deal with smartphone addiction
Smartphone addiction among children is not a unique problem to Singapore. Here are how other countries deal with this problem:
Last December, its government announced that from September, students will be banned from using mobile phones in primary, junior and middle schools.
They will be allowed to take their phones to school but not allowed to get them out at any time - not even during breaks - until they leave school, according to The Guardian.
French Education MinisterJean-Michel Blanquer said the ban is a good public health message to families.
However, sceptics think it will be difficult to enforce and poses a significant logistical problem.
Four years ago, a San Francisco-based start-up called Yondr introduced a pouch that locks the phone in with a magnetic seal. Now, it is being used in over 600 US schools, reported The Washington Post.
Teachers and students place their phones in the locked pouch that they can carry with them throughout the day, and teachers hold the unlocking mechanism.
San Lorenzo High School in California, which adopted Yondr this school year, said grades have improved, there are fewer disciplinary problems, and it now has a livelier campus due to more student interaction.
Besides schools, Yondr's pouches are also being used in concerts, medical facilities, weddings and courtrooms across North America, Europe and Australia.
A smartphone named Tone m17, developed by Tone Mobile Inc, was introduced to the Japanese market in August last year. It can be set to work during daytime hours only, to restrict the screen time of children, reported The Japan Times.
The phone will be initially set to automatically lock between 10pm and 6am for users who are 12 or younger. Parents can modify the settings to change the hours.
Other notable functions include limiting access to applications, such as messaging app Line, and automatically locking the device when entering pre-registered places, including schools.
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