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Talking to your kids about social media

Social media has become a part of everyday life. It's how people connect today, and that includes teens. But it also comes with risks that worry parents. Dr. Justin Smith answers one of the questions parents ask most, "How do I talk to my child about social media?" He's here with tips on how you can help your kids stay safe online.


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Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Smith with Cook Children's in Trophy Club, and today I'm going to answer a question that I hear so many times in my office. How do we handle social media with our teen

It is such a common concern of parents, and it is a scary place for teens to be. So one of the things that we focus on is waiting as long as you possibly can to allow that child to have a social media account. So there are many organizations throughout the country that recommend a period at least 13 years of age, and even longer if you can, because the younger you start, the younger that developing brain is, and the more influenced they can be by the content that they come across.

There are many risks to social media with younger kids. They are at risk for bullying, they are at risk for fear of missing out, they may come across sexually explicit content, there are so many risks. And while there may be some benefits and increasing connection to other teams, and the ability to contact family members, they probably don't outweigh the risks in the younger children. And so it's important that we keep an eye on them and make sure that we're watching them when it is time that they're using social media appropriately. And they aren't getting into places they could put them at risk. And so my advice would be wait as long as you can and observe when it is time for them to get involved.

Thank you guys. Again. I'm Dr. Justin Smith with Cook Children's in Trophy Club. If you have more questions about these topics, go to Cook Children's dot org.