Attention, parents with “screenagers”: The U.S. government has issued a public warning that scrolling through apps like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat may pose serious risks to your child’s mental health.
In a 19-page report, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said on Tuesday that while social media offered some benefits to younger people, including the ability to connect with communities, it also exposed them to potential harms, such as cyberbullying and content that promotes eating disorders, self-harm and other destructive behavior. Social media also hurts exercise, sleep and other activities, he said.
What can parents do? One is to explore potential options to limit children’s screen time. Let’s go through them.
Google’s and Apple’s mobile operating systems offer free tools that can be effective for restricting screen time on smartphones and tablets. These tools allow parents to monitor and set limits on their children’s devices.