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Kids & Tech

Keep Your Kids Safe From TikTok "Challenges"

Keep Your Kids Safe From TikTok “Challenges”

Rachel Simon, third-year pediatric resident at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, also contributed to this article. Teens’ use of TikTok, the social media app that allows users to watch, create, and share 15- to 30-second videos recorded on cellphones, has escalated during the pandemic. TikTok is now the second most popular downloaded app, after only Instagram. If you ask teenagers what they like to do online, chances are it’s TikTok. Almost half of TikTok users are between ages 16 and 24, and 90% of users engage with the app every day. The content varies widely and ranges from music, dance, exercise, and tutorial videos to humor and parodies. TikTok can get people moving, educated, and laughing. “It’s all good!” however, does not apply to all of TikTok. Here are just a few of TikTok’s dangerous “challenges”: “The Benadryl Challenge” involves individuals taking high doses of diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter allergy […]

Online School and Bullying – Know the Signs and How to Prevent It

Online School and Bullying – Know the Signs and How to Prevent It

Many children have gotten used to going to school and learning virtually since the beginning of the pandemic. But now, some students are facing a new form of cyberbullying via the chat functions on Zoom, Google Media, or whichever tool their school district uses for online learning. School administrators, teachers, and parents should know the signs of this type of bullying and work together to prevent and stop it. When the Chat Becomes Mean Virtual meeting and classroom tools have become useful to educate children during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, parents and teachers are seeing that some students are using the chat function to make fun of other kids, taking screenshots or photos to ridicule their looks, social status, and what they have or don’t have in the background. Unlike an incident that happens in school and is often quickly dealt with and then forgotten, shared photos and messages can […]

Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know - From the experts at Nemours

Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know

Bullying no longer just happens in school hallways or on the playground. Since kids are now online and mobile, cyberbullying is a huge concern. It occurs digitally, on your children’s computers, phones, tablets, and even on video games, where players talk and text chat. Bullies now follow their victims anywhere in the world, even into the safety of their own homes. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 95 percent of U.S. teens ages 12-17 use a smartphone, 81 percent of them use social networks, and 45% say they are online almost constantly. 59% of U.S. teens report that they have been bullied or harassed online, and a close number say it’s a major problem for people their age 1 in 4 teens have been the victims of cyberbullying 1 in 6 admit to having cyberbullied someone Girls are just as likely, if not more, than boys to […]

Digital Screen Time and Links to ADHD, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Digital Screen Time and Links to ADHD

Too much screen time has long been linked to an increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems, especially when kids engage for long stretches — like watching TV for hours or playing too many video games­. The long-term health effects of being constantly connected to smart devices isn’t as well understood. But several recent studies show that these screens can have a negative impact on social behavior, sleep quality, and mood. And one study links attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to teen use of digital devices. Understanding ADHD According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, affecting 8%‒10% of children and teens. The causes of ADHD are still unclear. Research does not show a link with eating too much sugar, parenting, or social and environmental factors like poverty. But these factors, and many others, can make symptoms […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: 5 Ways Parents Can Take the Wheel, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: 5 Ways Parents Can Take the Wheel

This is part 3 in a series on kids and the role of mobile, digital and social media in their lives. While media by itself is not the leading cause of any health problem in the U.S., it can contribute to numerous health risks. Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems and behavior issues. At the same time, kids can have positive experiences through digital access. As discussed in earlier posts, they are forming valuable social relationships and using their devices and social media for education. The best way for parents to get into the driver’s seat when it comes to their children’s digital use is to have an open and honest conversation with them. And the sooner the conversation is had, the better. Start the Conversation To begin your conversation, stress to kids that their digital experience is all about making good choices. […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With YouTube, School Apps, and Messages?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With YouTube, School Apps, and Messages?

This is part 2 in a series on kids and the role of mobile, digital and social media in their lives Children in the U.S. get their first mobile device as early as age 8. These “digital natives,” or the iGeneration, use their mobile devices for many activities, including accessing their social media. So it’s important to understand those apps, which we detailed in our first blog post in this Kids and Mobile Devices series. But kids also use their phones to watch videos, access schoolwork and communicate with teachers and classmates, and to text or messaging one another and their parents. Videos and Live Streaming – What Are They Watching? YouTube remains the leading online video platform, and by a significant margin. It’s almost certain your kids are watching YouTube videos. Nearly all (95%) of the iGeneration uses YouTube and nearly half say they can’t live without it. They […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With Social Media?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With Social Media?

Mobile, digital and social media usage has played a predominant role in the lives of families for the past 15 years. But many parents still struggle to understand what’s happening when it comes to the digital usage of children, adolescents and teenagers. The generation of digital natives, often referred to as iGeneration, have immersed themselves in a world of apps, smartphones and tablets. It’s important for parents to know what’s being used and what for, as well as how to best protect kids as the digital world continues to expand. Most Kids Have a Cell Phone The Nielson fourth quarter 2016 Mobile Kids Report states that most children in the U.S. get their first mobile device and service at age 10 (some even as young as 8). These kids usually share the same plan as their parents, and most have all mobile wireless services including voice, messaging and data. Parents […]

Toddlers need little to no screen time.

10 Ways to Limit Screen Time

Did you know that, besides sleeping, most American children spend more time watching television and looking at screens than doing almost anything else ? In fact, most kids spend nearly six hours per day in front of TV and other screens (excluding homework). That’s 42 hours per week of screen time – the equivalent of a full time job! When used wisely, high-quality and educational television and apps can help children learn. But the more time children spend playing video games, texting and watching TV, the less time they have for studying, reading and physical activity.  Media use also interferes with sleep. Many studies have even shown a link between the amount of TV kids watch and their being overweight. If you want to reduce screen time and make TV and other screens less tempting to your children, try these ten tips: Keep the TV, laptop, tablet, etc. in a central […]

New Screen Time Guidelines and Tips to Unplug, by Michelle Kartan, MD, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

New Screen Time Guidelines and Tips to Unplug

There’s no getting around it: Screens are everywhere. Take a look around next time you’re at a restaurant, coffee shop, on the bus, at the park, or even in your own home. How many people — adults and kids — have their eyes on a screen instead of on the world around them? Of course there is a time and place for screen time. But as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announces new recommendations for children’s media use, it’s a good reminder for all of us to get our own media use in check. New AAP Recommendations for Screen Time For children younger than 18 months Avoid use of screen media altogether, except for “video chatting” (e.g., letting Grandma and Grandpa see or talk to your little one). For children 18 to 24 months of age If you want to introduce digital media during this age, choose high-quality programming and watch […]

Teen playing Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO: Pros and Cons of Catching Them All

A new world is upon us — the world of Pokémon GO. Many parents have already seen their kids transform into top-notch trainers of these virtual creatures (pocket monsters, or Pokémon for short) who search the neighborhood, leaving no stone unturned, in their quest to “catch ‘em all.” This new game has swept the nation and is credited for putting kids on their feet, out the door … and into harm’s way? In addition to taking over screens, it has taken over conversation as well. Pokémon GO has received mixed reviews. Some parents rave about the benefits, while others voice concern about safety. If you’re not sure what to think, check out the pros and cons below to help you decide if this game is right for your family. Poké-what? Pokémon GO is a game played on smart phones. The game uses the phone’s GPS to show the player’s surroundings as […]

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