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June is National Internet Safety Month. The goal is to raise awareness about online safety, in particular, for children and teens.
Adults can help reduce the risks by talking to kids about making safe and responsible decisions. These free resources from the FTC can help you talk to your kids and teens about cyberbullying, sexting and texting, online privacy, social media, virtual environments, and more. Read more ›
A study published in February 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that only 1 in 20 adolescents are meeting the guidelines and that a discrepancy exists between the sexes. Only three percent of girls get enough sleep and exercise and don’t exceed screen time recommendations, compared to seven percent of boys. Read more ›
Children who spend more than seven hours a day of screen time may experience premature thinning of the part of the brain that processes sensory information.
The data comes from a $300 million research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will follow more than 11,000 kids aged 9 to 10 years old. Read more ›
Researchers found that teens who spent a lot of time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using more social media, texting and video chatting — were less happy than those who invested time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction. The happiest teens used digital media for less than an hour per day. But after a daily hour of screen time, unhappiness rises steadily along with increasing screen time. Read more ›
After another round of holidays, it’s safe to assume, a lot of children have been diving into media more than usual. They may have received new electronic toys and gadgets or downloaded new apps and games. Managing all that bleeping and buzzing activity causes anxiety in many parents. Here’s a roundup from NPR of some of the latest research. Read more ›
Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope have made videos simpler for people to share online, but now these companies are in a race against time to respond quickly to posts depicting self-harm — before they go viral.
Balancing the risks of suicide contagion with free speech, newsworthiness and other factors, these companies’ complex decisions to leave a video up or pull it down can mean the difference between life and death for people attempting suicide. Read more ›
The overarching program, called “Be Internet Awesome,” is part of Google’s effort to instill the youth with digital savvy and to encourage people to be good Internet citizens and includes educational materials aimed at students in the third to fifth grades. Read more ›
Cell phones, tablets and computers are keeping children and teenagers awake at night—even when they’re not being used, new research has found.
The paper, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that media devices are contributing to reduced sleep quality and quantity, as well as trouble staying awake the next day. According to the study, 72% of all children and 89% of adolescents have at least one device in their sleep environment, with most of them used near bedtime. Read more ›
In a marked shift from recommendations first adopted in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics has lifted its recommendation discouraging all electronic media use in children under the age of 2.
The new recommendations for children’s media use acknowledge that some media exposure can have educational value for children as young as 18 months, but it should be high-quality programming—the AAP specifically referenced “Sesame Street” and children’s programming provided by PBS.
The academy also has recommendations for e-book use. Many of those books come with interactive elements that distract a child and make the book harder for a child to comprehend. Therefore, parents should read e-books along with their children, just as they would with a regular book. Read more ›
On average, tweens (age 8 to 12) and teens (age 13 to 18) use many different devices and consume tremendous amounts of media. A new Common Sense Media report, Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Tweens, uncovers patterns that could spark improvements in content, access, and learning.
The report, based on a nationally representative survey of 2,658 8- to 18-year-olds, identifies distinct types of media users with different patterns of use: Heavy Viewers, Light Users, Social Networkers, Video Gamers, Mobile Gamers, Gamers/Computer Users, and Readers. The recognition of these new user profiles can help parents understand that there’s no such thing as an “average media user” and that kids’ media use may actually be a reflection of deeper needs (for example, to connect with others or learn a new skill). Read more ›