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Do your children use social media? How to protect them | The learning key


While most social media apps require ages over 13, this hasn’t stopped many younger kids from opening accounts, according to new research.

The recently published National Child Health Survey by CS Mott Children’s Hospital found that 49% of parents ages 10 to 12 and 32% of parents of children ages 7 to 9 report their child uses social media .

In addition, not all parents monitor their children’s activities on these apps due to a number of factors, from the inability to set up controls to a lack of time.

“The use of social media poses a number of potential safety threats to children. As more children use social media at a younger age, it is critical that parents ensure their safety and teach them how to use responsible digital and social media,” says Michele Havner, director of marketing at Eturi Corp., maker of OurPact, a leading parental control and screen time app.

Does your child use social media? Not sure? According to Havner, there are a few ways you can keep them safe on social media apps and other websites:

Open communication: Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Listening and being respectful will encourage your child to be honest with you about their social media use and what they experience online.

Set parameters: Whether you only allow your child to use educational social media apps or enforce a strict moratorium until they reach a certain age, set parameters that make sense for your child and stick to them.

Set a schedule: Don’t let digital devices overwhelm your family life. Creating a digital timetable can help children have time for homework, after school, and time with family. Be sure to practice what you are preaching and provide a good digital example.

Proceed with caution: Before allowing your child to create an account on any particular social media app, it is a good idea to take a close look at what the app is about to make sure it is appropriate for their age group and individual level of maturity.

Get Help: A parental control app like OurPact can help you set a digital schedule, block inappropriate apps and websites, set security filters, and even get screenshots of digital activity.

No matter how busy you are, new improvements make it easy for you to get a grip on your child’s social media usage. With the ability to create custom profiles, you can customize rules based on your child’s age and other considerations. To learn more, visit ourpact.com.

“Although many school systems include digital safety and literacy in the curriculum, parents should fill the gaps by introducing children to smart digital habits and using new tools and resources that keep children safe,” says Havner.


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