Children and Technology – Finding the right balance

Ariel Coro wearing a suit and tie - Kaiser Permanente

In our most recent segment on Café CNN, we chatted with journalist Alejandra Oraá and Dr. Sara Caceres on an issue that affects all families with children: How can we balance the role of technology in the lives of our kids? Can Children and Technology safely coexist?

Achieving this digital balance is not easy and every family will have a different formula, but it’s a tendency that worries many parents nowadays. Increasingly, children are spending more and more hours playing with iPods, tablets or smartphones. What are the advantages and what do we have to consider when supporting our children when interacting with technology? As always, the key is balance.
Dr. Sara Caceres shared her viewpoint that it’s not healthy for children to spend all day in front of screens: there is evidence that this practice may be harmful to their health, as it promotes being overweight, poor concentration and it limits physical activity. That’s why the American Association of Pediatrics recommends that parents must limit the time of exposure to these devices, reducing it to one or two hours per day.

As technology advocates, we agree with the above point to a certain extent, it is definitely necessary for parents to monitor, control and accompany their children while they make their first steps into the world of technology. However, it is also important that they familiarize themselves with all of the possibilities of technology and feel at ease, because today, more than ever, these devices will accompany them for the rest of lives including their studies and future jobs.

The key is balance and responsible care with children and technology. For this, we encourage parents to use parental controls and settings available to them, applications such as K9, a browser for kids with parental controls so that they can always be aware of the sites that their children are visiting and the content they consume. It’s a good idea to uninstall the browsers that come in tablets or smart phones, and then install these specialized browsers that filter content and block porn websites, racist sites, etc. It is up to us to help guide their first interactions in the digital world and create positive habits associated with technology.

If you’re a parent, share with us your tips on how you encourage your kids to relate in a healthy way with technology and gadgets.

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