A Wicklow community's decision to ban all elementary school students from owning smartphones has made the news in the US.
Parents' associations at eight different schools in the town of Greystones, in County Wicklow, decided earlier in the summer to ban children of elementary school age from owning smartphones due to the potential risk of exposure to adult material.
Elementary schools in the town had already banned smartphones from being used on the grounds, but now parents in Greystones have banned them outright until children reach secondary school.
Greystones resident Justyna Flynn, a clinical psychologist, told Fox News's "Fox & Friends" that the town had received "incredible" support over the measure.
"It was just the striking results of the rising anxiety, depression and everything we noticed … of having a mobile phone, especially among young kids," Flynn told Fox.
"I think the access the kids have to the internet, or the internet having access to our children - we don't know what's going on there."
Flynn added that she hopes the ban is extended to students in secondary school, the equivalent of middle school or high school in the United States.
"The brain is not developed [for children] … their use of the phone is associated with anxiety, depression, obesity, sleeping disorders and many other health problems," Flynn told Fox.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, who lives near Greystones, said he supports the policy of banning smartphones for elementary school students and called for the policy to be implemented nationwide.
Donnelly wrote in an op-ed in the Irish Times that he had held discussions with students, teachers, computer scientists, and mental health experts about the issue and said he was aware of the "damaging" content that children can access from a smartphone.
He additionally noted that smartphones can cause "severe psychological anxiety derived from content related to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and suicidal ideation.
"We regulate food and drink and medicines. We have extensive child protections in place in so many areas of our society. We’re now beginning to do it in the digital space," Donnelly wrote in the Irish Times.
"The issues I’ve raised here are being experienced around the world.
"Ireland can be, and must be, a world leader in ensuring that children and young people are not targeted and are not harmed by their interactions with the digital world."
A United Nations report on smartphones released earlier this year stated that children performed better academically once smartphones were removed from schools, adding that smartphones are "distracting students from learning and increasing risks to their privacy at the same time".
The report additionally found that smartphones can lead to bullying and abuse and can be "detrimental to learning".