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@Pediatrics: the AAP comments on social media use

Image: Flickr/uberculture

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report Monday, saying teenagers who over use social media, like Facebook and twitter, could be engaging in risky behavior, with long-lasting, negative consequences. To prevent social media from becoming problematic, the AAP recommends parents monitor, and when necessary, limit their children’s use of social networking tools and websites.

But before you confiscate your kids’ cell phones and delete their Facebook accounts, it’s important to note that the AAP acknowledges that social media can be a healthy part of kids’ communication, assuming they have the proper guidelines.

“Engaging in social media is a routine activity that research has shown to benefit children and adolescents,” the report reads. “Social media allows teens to accomplish online many of the tasks that are important to them offline: staying connected with friends and family, making new friends, sharing pictures, and exchanging ideas.”

Translation: It’s not the technology that dangerous, but how it’s used that can be harmful. Constant access to information is a double-edged sword, and parents need to be mindful of that when examining their children’s online activities. For every website offering homework help, there is a site that helps kids cheat on tests. The same phone that lets them text you when they’re running late from soccer practice can easily be used to send wildly inappropriate pictures to her crush from biology class.

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Tweeting 140 years of history

@childrensboston happy 140th birthday to an amazing hospital! — From curtisrj

Started working at #CHB in 2003 on a “3 month project”. Still here, still love it, thanks to the Ctr on Media & Child Health! –From EyreAffair

My first intact memory (age 2)=going to CHB 4 surgery. Spent holidays, school breaks, etc there; staff felt like my family

Everyone positive + caring, and I felt safe there even when young+scared. I even invited my CHB doctor to my hs graduation!

Coolest feeling was being able to return as adult and work at Devon Nicole;felt such a connection to sick kids and familiesFrom achronicdose

@ChildrensBoston saved Andy’s life by unleashing the healing powers of stem cells. Celebrating 140 years! — From atrevino

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140 characters about 140 years

Next week, Children’s Hospital Boston celebrates its 140th birthday, so if you have a Children’s memory or experience you’d like to share, Tweet us 140 characters about the hospital. twitter

And add #CHB to your Tweet so we know to keep an eye out for your reply.

We’ll post as many as we can on this blog, so start Tweeting!

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