The use of new technologies should be null until 2 years

Educate in the use of new technologies has been the focus of the debate on 64th Congress of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) held in Valencia. Each time, children start using electronic devices first, to the point of having received the nickname of digital natives, and to determine if this behavior has advantages or disadvantages on the health of children, it is now precisely what worries the pediatricians of the AEP.

During the years of free play, that is, from birth to 2 years approximately, "the use of new technologies should be null", explains Dr. Maria Angustias Salmerón Ruiz, pediatrician of the Adolescent Medicine Unit of La Paz and expert in new technologies of the AEP. From this age (5 or 6 years) "children must be initiated in the use of new technologies through a shared navigation through which they will explain the functioning of each tool, each social network, the dangers what you can find and how you should face them, the profiles on social networks must be familiar or shared by the child and an adult, "says this expert.

After 10 years, "the shared navigation is more complicated since the child requires more autonomy, it is time to alert him very well of the risks and offer absolute confidence so that he can expose all his doubts and tell us what worries him" concludes Dr. Salmerón.

Minimum age or maturity to have a mobile

Giving a mobile to children when they turn 10 is increasingly common. And in this sense, parents and educators ask if they are ready at that age to have a cell phone and navigate autonomously. What is the recommended age for children to have a cell phone? Dr. Salmerón assures that there is no correct answer "since it depends on the maturity and digital formation of each child." In this regard, the ideal would be to ask: Is the child prepared? Do you know what you should and should not do? Is he aware that what he does will leave a fingerprint? Will he be able to successfully handle his digital identity? "

It is interesting at this point, explains Esther Aren, Provincial Delegate for Citizen Participation of Madrid, "to notice the fact that social networks such as WhatsApp or Instagram require to be registered to be over 16 years of age in one and over 14 years in the another, however, there are countless children who handle both tools, do your parents know that the ultimate responsible for what is written or uploaded on these platforms are they as legal guardians, just as if they were aware they would impose their children better and better protection and control measures ". In this sense, Esther Aren says "giving a 14-year-old a state-of-the-art mobile phone, without showing him how to handle it with caution, is like giving a child under 18 years of age a sports car without teaching him how to drive."

Educate in the use of social networks

"Each social network has an age, some characteristics, a way of behaving and has it for something." That adult who, in any circumstance, has a minor in charge must know these rules of the game for their own safety, physical and mental , of the minor who custody, "says EstherAren. "It is essential to be in the world where our children are, it is the only way to prevent this type of harassment from occurring through social networks, that children see that we speak their language, that we understand them, understand them and so much so, that we are adults with enough tools to put an end to and stop a situation of harassment, "says Provincial delegate of Citizen Participation.

At this point, it should be "very aware," says Aren, that "if an adult, a child shows you on a mobile, say, messages whose content with possible harassment could be criminal, this adult, be a parent, pediatrician, teacher, tutor * must inform the Police or the Civil Guard so they can inform the Office of the Prosecutor If it is less than 14 (unimputable), the Prosecutor will file it, but the child learns that his actions have consequences and which looks like a prank with 14, will be a crime and the Law of Criminal Responsibility of Minors (LRPM) will apply. "

The technological language of children

During the 64th Congress of the AEP held in Valencia has also become important the need to "speak the technological language of minors, as a way of understanding with them, gain their trust and in this way, to prevent and intervene on time in case of to detect any harassment resulting from the improper use of social networks ", as stated by Dr. Maria Angustias Salmerón Ruiz, pediatrician of the Adolescent Medicine Unit of La Paz and expert in new technologies of the AEP, such as Esther Aren, delegate Provincial Citizen Participation of Madrid.

In this sense, Dr. Salmerón says that while it is true that "for the most part, the current adult generation is not a 'digital' generation, in short we are talking about something as 'classic' as educating in values: respect to others, to their own dignity and to the other, education, empathy ..., only applied to a different environment ".

Marisol Nuevo Espín

More information in the book: How to use new technologies in the family, by the author Marianela Jáudenes.

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