May 09, 2023
For the first time, the American Psychological Association (APA) has released a health advisory on safe social media use for children and the training they need to be healthy online.
Released today, the APA report stresses that more research is needed to understand the ways social media affects adolescent health. The recommendations are focused on supporting educators, parents, policy makers, providers, technology companies, and children.
“Social media is neither inherently harmful nor beneficial to our youth,” APA President Thema Bryant, PhD, said in a statement. “But because young people mature at different rates, some are more vulnerable than others to the content and features on many social media platforms that science has demonstrated can influence healthy development.”
Among the key recommendations in the report:
The APA also notes that social media use should not interfere with sleep and physical activity and that adolescents should be routinely screened for problematic use.
“Just as we require young people to be trained in order to get a driver’s license, our youth need instruction in the safe and healthy use of social media,” Bryant said.
The report and a tip sheet for parents about keeping kids safe on social media is available online.
Tags: Public Health
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