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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has everyone at home right now, including parents with children. Millions of families across the state are dealing with the new changes brought by social distancing and quarantining.
Most kids are used to a balanced daily schedule of school and play time. Now that schools are closed, parents find it difficult to manage their children while working from home.
Most parents have turned to electronic devices for help. This introduces a new set of concerns for parents about online safety and the protection of their children.
Josh Ochs, the founder of Smart Social, works with parents and children on internet safety. He says technology can be very important during the pandemic — but it should be used in moderation.
Ochs said, “We need to, in small doses, give them a little bit of screen time which is very good like ice cream. Tell them, ‘We’re going to do this much’ and give them and amount of time. Then once that time is up let’s go ahead and set it down and do something different.”
Ochs says technology should always be used as a family. He says when parents are around and monitoring their children’s devices, there is less room for predators and cyberbullies.
If you cannot continually monitor your child’s device, Ochs recommends installing parental controls through the device’s settings.
On an Apple device, the parental controls can be accessed through the “Screen Time” app within the device’s settings. For Android devices, parental control settings can be accessed through the Google Play store.
Ochs also recommends installing protection software on computers and electronic devices to block certain websites.
Too much screen time
Excessive screen time can create feelings of isolation in children, which can lead to depression and anxiety. To combat this, medical professionals recommend:
- having outdoor time
- playing games as a family
- allotting specific times each day for screen usage