Majority of parents concerned about their children spending Easter glued to devices

Internet Matters offers five simple tips to manage children’s screen time this Easter

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Little girl colors Easter eggs

Despite forecasters predicting the upcoming Easter weekend could be the hottest on record - research has found that more than half of parents are concerned their child will spend the holidays glued to their phone or computer.

A study by Internet Matters found 60% of parents are concerned their children don't have interests aside from going online and eight out of ten children admit they go over the daily time limit set by their parents.

Further research also found that children aged between 11 and 16 post an average of 26 times a day while parents of 12-year-olds are the most concerned (64%) about their children only being interested in the digital world.

In a bid to help parents and children get the most out of their holiday, Internet Matters has devised five simple tips to help manage children's screen time this Easter so they can make the most out of their time both on and offline.

1. Set a good example with your own device use
Children will tend to model their behaviours on you, so if you start reading a book, they may follow your lead.

2. Talk about their digital lives with them
Ask about the time they spend online to better understand what they're doing, and explain your concerns. Carolyn Bunting, Internet Matters' General Manager, says: "It's not just the quantity of screen time that parents should consider, but also the quality of time spent online. Setting a simple limit on screen time might not work on its own. Make the time count by understanding what they are doing online and sharing some of these online activities with them.

3. Set up a family agreement
Once you've agreed on an appropriate length of time that they can use their device, put in place a agreement to set some boundaries and don't break them. According to Bunting: "Setting boundaries on your children's technology can seem daunting, as it's sometimes difficult to know how much screen time is too much. But if you're constantly trying to divert their attention from Snapchat to have a conversation, then it's probably time to moderate their usage."

4. Create 'screen free' zones
Then get the whole family to unplug and play by creating 'screen free' zones at home.

5. Use tech to limit screen time
Technology can actually help you limit screen time. For example, the Forest app is a great tool that enables them to grow a beautiful forest of different trees each day when they don't use their phone for a set amount of time. The iPad's 'Guided Access' limits the time you can access any given app, which can be great for younger children.

Tablets and smartphones are not all bad, though...
On the other hand, Bunting also highlighted the positive role digital devices can play during the school holidays: "Rather than being anti-social, lonely and isolating, screens can be social, connecting and creative. Playing games together, looking up new places to visit or learning about a new app are great ways to share screen time in a positive way."

For more information and step-by-step advice on how to keep your kids safe online, go to internetmatters.org