Screen time – how do you keep them safe online?

Keeping our Under 5’s safe online


iPads, iPhones, tablets … the answer to all our prayers or just a menace?




There is so much written about the rise of technology and the impact on our children’s lives that it’s impossible to know what’s right. On one side of the ring are the ‘what’s wrong with a book and some colouring pencils?’ brigade and on the other the ‘there is a ton of eductational stuff available online which my child will benefit from accessing’. What’s best for our children probably lies somewhere in the middle and at times it suits everyone to allow their little ones some screen time and at others cake baking, paydohing and splashing in the puddles is do-able and infinitely more inclusive and fun for the whole family


The technology timeline for kids and teen is far from straightforward as they use different technologies at different ages , so what can we do as parents/carers to keep them safe?


Focusing on the Under 5’s is probably the best and easiest place to start so here’s a checklist:


START setting some boundaries now e.g. the amount of the time they spend on a device – you will definitely need to set time limits as they get older so it’s a great habit to get into now.


KEEP devices e.g. your mobile out of reach and make sure you’ve set password/PINS so if they do get their mitts on your precious iPad they can’t wreak havoc.


CHECK the age ratings on apps, games online TV and films before streaming or downloading them, they are there for a reason.



EXPLAIN your technology rules to grandparents, babysitters and parents of your child friends so that they can be consistent when they are in charge.


REMEMBER that public Wi-Fi might not have parental controls so if you hand over you iPad to your child while you are having a coffee and a natter they might be able to access more than you bargained for.


SET the homepage on you device to an appropriate website e.g. Cbeebies. If  you are lucky your little one won’t want to venture any further.

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