Lingokids Releases Report Surveying Parents about State of Kids’ Internet Safety

Industry News
More than 66% of parents report that their kids have their own handheld device and 1 out of 3 kids download apps without any supervision

In another year of increased screen time for kids, Lingokids released a report today exploring kids’ phone and tablet usage and their parents’ approach to online safety. The report, which surveyed parents of children ages 2-8, presents new data revealing that a majority of kids (66%) have their own handheld drive, and surprising results like 1 in 3 parents let their kids download apps on their own, with no approval. While parents feel like they themselves have a good handle on internet safety, keeping up to date on the latest findings and putting this knowledge into practice with their children is not an easy thing to do on a consistent basis.

With children doing their homework online, attending virtual class, and spending more time indoors due to the pandemic, screen usage has gone way up for 78% of families across the country. Parents agree that screen time can be very beneficial and that they have been able to incorporate healthy screen time into their daily home routines as a means to cope with the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as use it as additional outlets for learning or creativity. The Lingokids report showed that:

  • 85% of kids use a handheld device more than 3 times a week, with 68% using devices everyday.
  • 39% of kids spend 1-3 hours per session on their device
  • The top three choices of content for kids were games (64%), YouTube videos (59%), and educational apps (45%)

With this big increase in screen time, parents shared with Lingokids their biggest fears about keeping kids safe online were as follows:

  • 63% of parents are concerned about their child becoming attached to these devices and spending too much time on them
  • 48% of parents are concerned about their children coming across content that was not appropriate
  • 39% of parents are concerned about their children talking to other people online
  • 36% of parents were worried that more screen time would replace their child’s desire to hangout with friends in real life

Lingokids board member, retired teacher and mother and grandmother, Dr. Suzanne Barchers recommends that parents must always be highly aware of the content their children are consuming on devices, and ensure that the devices have adequate parental security installed. When parents are managing their children’s screen time and also helping them stay safe online, she recommends:

  • It’s never too early to start talking to your child about online safety and appropriate screen time. Have the conversation early and often to ensure it sticks with your child.
  • Kids learn best if they learn while playing. Playing an educational app such as Lingokids helps to extend the learning from the screen into real life.
  • Kids should never be allowed to download an app without permission. Parents need to be the gatekeeper for any new content.
  • Make sure the apps your child plays have no ads and don’t allow them to click outside the experience you are letting them play to accidentally experience inappropriate content.
  • Have your child use the device in an area where the parent can casually look at what they are doing. Ask questions like “Can I play with you?” and “What game are you playing?” to stay involved and aware.
  • Active screen time where they are participating in the learning through something like gaming will help them learn much faster. However, passive screen time can be beneficial too like audiobooks, podcasts and meditation exercises.
  • To find quality content look at resources like Common Sense Media, talk to your friends to see what they use and trust, and read reviews on the app store

For more information about online safety and safe screen time, visit Lingokids.com.

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