School's out for summer.
- Parents should have their kids’ social media and email passwords
- Experts recommend no more than two hours a day on screens. For a small child, that may be even less
- Doctors have seen an increase in anxiety and depression in kids because of social media
It may be a break from the classroom, but experts say rules for screen time and social media should not go on hiatus.
"The parents really need to monitor their account," said Ronna Glickman, a social media safety expert.
Glickman, who's also a middle school teacher, says it's important to stay as vigilant as ever.
"It's not any different than when your kids go somewhere and you know where they are and that they're safe," she said.
Experts recommend no more than two hours a day on screens: phones, tablets and TV. For a small child, that's even less.
"Make sure the phones are being charged in the parents’ room, not the kids’ room. That way, you know they are not being woken up by the sounds from the phone," explained Glickman.
It's also not just what kids are seeing, but what they are saying. Glickman adds that's when parents need to step in and make a contract with your kids.
“With that contract, you're visually stating what the kids are or are not allowed to do with the phone. And if your kid doesn't follow that contract, the phone is yours. It's a privilege," Glickman explained.
Glickman also says parents should have their child's passwords.
Personal information should also not be shared on social media.
David Newell, CEO of Loptr, a cyber security company, reminds parents that kids don't always know who they are talking to online. Software might help stop this.
"Parents can look and see what kind of firewall protection is offered and choose what works best for you. For me, I have a firewall that I use at home that blocks some of the social media sites or certain functions on those apps that my kids use," said Newell.
The bottom line: it's important to limit kids’ access within reason, but also, talk to your kids about what they’re posting and seeing on social media and how it makes them feel.
Glickman advises parents to have their children's passwords throughout their high school years, even when kids are 17, because they are considered minors.
As for the length of time for other social media safety rules, that's a case-to-case basis that best fits you and your child.