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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Phone-addicted kids: Can Apple help?

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Apple should design parental controls to keep kids from overusing iPhones, argue two major shareholders in a Jan. 6 letter, reports Luke Kawa in Bloomberg News.

Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System also want Apple to study the mental-health consequences of smartphone addiction.

“France, for instance, has moved to ban the use of smartphones in its primary and middle schools,” writes Kawa.

Apple already offers some parental controls, such as the Ask to Buy feature, which requires parental approval to buy goods and services. Restrictions can also be placed on access to some apps, content and data usage.

High-tech execs limit their children’s technology use, writes psychologist Jean Twenge, the author of iGen, in The Guardian.

Children and young people average more than six hours a day of screen time, according to one US survey, she writes. “Several experiments and longitudinal studies have concluded that digital media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness doesn’t lead to digital media use.”

Children need to explore the real, physical world, writes Naomi Schaefer Riley in a new book, Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning SnapChat.

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