The Impact of Tech on Child Safety


There has been a lot of talk and, frankly, worry recently about the impact of technology on the mental health and safety of children. Emerging social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat have created a healthy amount of worry among parents who feel their children are being exposed to negative and harmful influences.

The rise of social media and technology has created a new set of concerns for modern parents, and navigating this new world of advanced tech can be challenging. When it is impossible to avoid tech, parents may wonder if their children are having too much exposure.

While it is understandable that modern parents may have some uneasiness about the impact of technology on their children’s safety, there is also a protective and helpful role for technology to play that should be considered. Technology can be utilized for monitoring, medical assistance and even preventing life-threatening accidents.

Child Safety Concerns

According to recent studies, 53% of children have a smartphone by the time they are 11 years old. This statistic has risen significantly since a 2015 study, which showed 32% of 11-year-olds had a smartphone of their own. Having access to the whole of the internet and social media apps opens up an entire world of possibilities (and possible dangers) to children whose brains are not yet fully developed.


Research has shown that the constant deluge of technology has a definitive negative impact on children. The negative effects range from diminished mental health to failing grades in school, a lack of psychosocial development and even diminished physical health. How social media and technology affect children is dependent on a number of factors.

How much technology and what kind of technology children are exposed to is important to consider. Most social media platforms recommend children do not have their own accounts until the age of 12. However, one only has to peruse TikTok or Instagram accounts to see that this rule is often ignored.

Many parents are also concerned about adults or nefarious individuals having access to children through technology. Online bullying, stalking, harassment and even grooming have become a modern problem that parents must grapple with.

Keeping Kids Safe

Experts have suggestions for parents who want their children to use technology safely. Their primary suggestion is to set clear boundaries and expectations with children around technology. Whether this means limiting screen time or setting a specific age for when a child will receive their own smartphone, the boundaries may vary by family. Allowing your child access to all technology completely unfettered could invite trouble.

Furthermore, parents should speak to their children about what is safe — and not safe — on the internet. There should be discussion about fake postings, spam and phishing. Parents should also discuss cyberbullying and online predators with their children. With education, children can be more aware of what to avoid when using technology. Parents may also want to research any apps, programs or resources they can use to help them keep their kids safe.

With technology being the problem, it seems funny to use technology as the solution. However, a number of parents rely on online safety apps to help keep their children safe online. Apps such as Bark allow parents to track online behavior and see who their kids may be speaking to on various platforms.

Using technology as a means of safety and security highlights the positive aspects of the technological revolution. With various apps, AI programs and equipment, parents can track their children’s whereabouts — whether online or off. Parents can also check up on their academic performance, make sure they are driving safely once they get their driver’s license or even order an Uber for them and track the car as it gets them to their destination. There is even emerging technology that can detect a child left behind in a vehicle.

When used responsibly, technology can be an amazing resource and parenting aid — helping keep kids safe and parents “in the know.”

Tech that Saves Lives

Parents should not fear technology. No one is suggesting that parents throw out the family computer and outlaw all social media. Instead, they should help their children use technology responsibly. Parents should also be aware that there is technology available that can be lifesaving.

With the emergence of better AI technology, lifesaving devices such as contactless radio frequency (RF) sensors are even saving children from being left in hot cars. On average, 38 children die a year from being left or trapped in a hot vehicle. It has happened in nearly every state in the U.S. since 1998. Wireless Intelligence Sensing can detect a child left in a car with 100% accuracy, saving children from this unnecessary end.

We live in an age when technology touches every aspect of our lives. Children will need to learn how to best use technology if they are to grow into productive students, employees and citizens. By keeping oneself aware of emerging technology — as well as the dangers that certain technology may present — one can guide the next generation toward safe and responsible use of technology.

Alex Qi is an accomplished visionary and industry leader with a relentless passion for revolutionizing the automotive landscape. As the CEO at Pontosense, Qi is at the forefront of driving innovation through cutting-edge sensor technologies that enhance the driving experience and save lives.  Besides his professional achievements, Qi is an avid golfer and believes in giving back to the community. He holds degrees from the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and an advanced degree from the University of Chicago.

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