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A recent survey showed that more than half of all
parents in the U.S. purchased smart phones, tablets or laptops for their
children before they entered 5th grade, offering each child direct
and private access to the internet.
The study, conducted by AVG polled 893 parents of children ages 3-17. 744 of these
parents report having children who own their own connected devices. With easy
access to endless information, parents have an added responsibility to monitor
their child's online activities, which may not be that simple to do.
According to the study:
Nearly 3 in 4 (72 percent) parents of children
aged 3-17 that own their own connected device have proactively spoken to their
children about the dangers of the internet
56 percent know the password to their
children's connected device(s)
41 percent have installed a parental block on
50 percent say they check their child's
activity at least weekly, with about one in five checking their activity less
than once a month or not at all (19 percent).
survey shows that while the majority of parents have proactively discussed the
dangers of the internet with their children, the numbers suggest that many
parents are not engaged in knowing what their children are really doing on
their devices," said Tony Anscombe, author of From One Parent to
Dr. Matthew Davis, professor of pediatrics and
internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor,
believes concerns about internet safety and sexting are now ranked higher than
smoking as a major childhood health issue, adding to the myriad of concerns that already plague worrisome parents.
"We found that while the public may find
benefits to today's shifting media environment, whether through cellphones or
other technology, many also recognize risks that may make young people
vulnerable," Davis said.
The real lesson we can learn from the results
of this poll is the fact that advancements in technology have added much value
to our society, but it has made parenting much more difficult.