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New report urges pediatricians to talk to parents about social media

Attention: All parents
Re: Your children's use of social media

It's ubiquitous. And the use of social media by our kids has transformed their lives. Now a new Pediatrics paper, The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents and Families, is urging pediatricians to take a more active role in advising parents about the use of social media by their children.

The paper provides some amazing statistics - "According to a recent survey 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day" - and it outlines the potential benefits and risks of social media. Among the risks:
cyberbullying and online harassment, sexting and a new phenomenon, Facebook depression. "The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents," the authors note.

The report goes on to say:

[Pediatricians] are in a unique position to educate families about both the complexities of the digital world and the challenging social and health issues that online youth experience by encouraging families to face the core issues of bullying, popularity and status, depression and social anxiety.

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