No phones this year please, Santa

Dr. Catherine Conlon examines the impact of smartphones on children and parents’ attitudes towards them as Christmas gifts. Education Minister Norma Foley advised against giving smartphones to children, and a survey supported her stance. The Department of Education issued guidelines for parents and plans to support schools in developing voluntary codes for smartphone use. Experts warn of the negative effects of smartphone use on children’s mental health, educational performance, and exposure to harmful content. Studies show high levels of anxiety and sleep disturbances in children due to smartphone use. Recommendations include a ban on smartphones in schools and limiting screen time. Overall, experts advise against giving smartphones to young children and parents to agree on a voluntary code for their use.

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