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Today, screens are synonymous with growing up. About 37% of teenagers between 13-17 have access to a smartphone today. This represents a 37% increase since 2013.
While those smartphones do great things for families (help us keep in touch with our kids, promote safety and learning, etc.) they can also present some real risks. This is especially true during the warmer months when kids have more free hours and their screen time increases.
So, what’s the answer? How can you keep kids safe on their smartphones this summer?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Install Parental Controls
Parental controls are apps that allow you to track what your kids do online.
Today, there are dozens of parental controls to choose from. Some allow you to block certain websites, impose time limits, and filter content, while others make it possible to track the child’s location or manage all devices on your network.
To help you decide which is right for you, here’s a review of two of the top parental control apps for 2019, compared: Kaspersky vs Net Nanny.
2. Get Pictures off the Phone and Into Real Life
One of the activities that put kids at the most risk on their phones is photo-sharing. To combat this, get your kids’ photos off their phones and into physical forms. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Make a photo book. Today, printing services like Shutterfly, Pinhole Press, Blurb, Mixbook, and Vistaprint allow you to upload albums right from your smartphone. They ship the finished product directly to your door and are cheaper than your average drugstore printing service.
- Print individual copies. If you’d prefer, you can also use the above services to print individual copies of your child’s favorite photos. Keep in mind, though, that photo books offer some distinct advantages. They’re already bound, for example, which means you don’t have to keep track of lots of loose photos.
3. Impose Limits
Last but not least, talk to your kids about screen time. Explain to them the negative impacts of screen time, and encourage them to set limits. Employ the screen time control on your child’s smartphone to back these conversations up. Circle by Disney allows you to control the internet from the router, so you can cut off access to a specific device at a certain time. Read our full Circle by Disney review to sign up.
Safer Screen Time Starts Here
While it’s virtually impossible to keep kids off their phones, you can take proactive steps to make the time they spend on their screens safer. That, in turn, makes for a happy summer for everyone!