Phones and kids: What experts say and how local schools are responding

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This story was originally published by Kidsburgh.org, a media partner of PublicSource. Kidsburgh is an online resource for families that highlights stories about the people, organizations and events making Pittsburgh a better place to raise all kids. Sign up for Kidsburgh’s free e-newsletter.

The first iPhones and Androids hit the market when today’s high schoolers were babies. They’ve never known life without smartphones. And today, the Surgeon General’s office estimates that 95% of kids ages 13-17 and nearly 40% of kids ages 8-12 use social media, connect to the internet and use a massive array of interactive apps through their phones.

Until recently, the advice was to limit kids’ screen time to two hours per day or less. That wasn’t always easy — and we’re now discovering that it wasn’t enough to just focus on the number of minutes kids spent in the glow of their screens. It matters what they’re watching and reading, and how it affects a given child or teen.

Phones connect our kids with information and ideas, but they also appear to be causing increases in anxiety, depression, bullying and other distractions, especially in the classroom.

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Image: freepik