Parents need to stop kids bingeing on social media ‘like junk food’, children’s commissioner says

Launching a campaign to help parents manage their children’s internet use, she said it was essential that parents understood the importance of balancing their child’s time online, just as they would balance their diet.

“Many children are using social media and the internet like sweets or junk food. Parents wouldn’t let their kids eat a double cheeseburger and fries every day, so they shouldn’t let them spend time online in an unhealthy way,” she said. 

“They have a responsibility as the providers of the smart phones, computers and iPads their children use, to step in now and make sure their children’s online lives are healthy.

“We do think there is a role here for parents to step up, to stop waiting for others to come up with the solution, be that government or [social media] companies.”

Her comments come after a report was published showing that kids in all age groups were spending even-longer periods of time online than before. According to media regulator Ofcom the internet has become the most popular media pastime for children in the last year, overtaking television.

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