#AceNewsReport – June.12: Charity’s report into effects of technology on under-18s warns of threat to mental health: Children aged five and under are at risk of becoming addicted to the internet in a trend that could damage their mental health, according to Barnardo’s.
The charity said very young children – one as young as two – were learning to access websites, for example YouTube and those related to children’s television programmes, as a result of their parents giving them access to smartphones or tablet computers to distract or entertain them: A third of five-to-10-year-olds have been the victims of cyberbullying:
Children of that age are being exposed to unsuitable or harmful material online:
79% of support workers have dealt with 11-to-15-year-olds who have suffered cyberbullying.
58% of those helping those 16 or over had seen cases of self-harm and attempted suicide linked to the young person’s history of cyberbullying.
78% of support workers had come across young people of that age who had been groomed online.
Barnardo’s is concerned that early access to electronic devices could lead to both addiction and a loss of key social skills as families spend less time talking among themselves: It warns in a report into the effects of technology and social media on children that platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are having a “disturbing” impact on the mental health of under-18s: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/15/teenage-girl-kills-herself-after-instagram-poll-in-malaysia
In a white paper in April on combating online harm, the government pledged to take action to tackle the problem: That included putting a new legal duty of care on providers to ensure that young users do not come to harm from accessing their content.
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