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  • New Report: Kids' Internet Use Is Excessive Enough to Interfere With Daily Life

    Parents are encouraged to help limit their kids’ daily internet use.
    by Kate Borbon .
New Report: Kids' Internet Use Is Excessive Enough to Interfere With Daily Life
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  • Young people nowadays are more glued to their screens and the internet than ever, according to the 2019 Children’s Mental Health Report from the non-profit organization Child Mind Institute.

    The purpose of the report is to put the risks and benefits of internet use in context so that parents and educators can guide children and adolescents on being online, especially now that we live in a world where the internet has become vital in everyday life.

    First, between 1% and 10% of children and teens were found to have excessive and impairing online behavior — also known as “problematic internet use” (PIU) or online use that has become excessive enough to interfere with a child’s daily life.

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    In 2012, 49% of adolescents said their preferred way of communicating with their peers was “in person,” meaning either face-to-face or over the phone. However, in 2018, only 32% of teens gave a similar response.

    Seventy-two percent of teens said they felt “compelled” to respond immediately to text messages or social media notifications they receive.

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    Eighty-one percent of adolescents said that using social media made them feel more connected to their peers.

    Fourteen to 22% of teens said that disordered eating (irregular eating behaviors that may or may not lead to a diagnosis of an eating disorder) was something to be concerned about but “doesn’t reach the level of clinical diagnosis.”

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    Finally, the report claimed that teenagers who spend three or more hours per day on their devices were more likely to get less than seven hours of sleep every night.

    The report also included a few tips on how parents can help deal with their children’s excessive screen use, such as talking to them about being online and the problems they might encounter there, being educated on the technologies that are popular among kids these days, and monitoring their children’s online behavior.

    To make sure their kids still get enough sleep, parents are also encouraged to designate screen-free times and zones at home, use an alarm clock in place of a phone, and create a space in the house where the kids can use their gadgets, like the living room.

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    One of the most important reasons why parents are called to limit their kids' screen use is because excessive screen time can damage a growing child's brain. Learn more by clicking here.

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