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House of Lords Library

Impact of Technology on the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

Published Thursday, January 10, 2019

This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate due to take place on 17 January 2019 in the House of Lords on the motion moved by Baroness Kidron (Crossbench) that “this House takes note of the relationship between the use of digital technology and the health and wellbeing of children and young people”.

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With the development of new technology in recent years, most children and young people now use at least one form of technology every day. Activities include: using the internet to do homework; watching online content; and using social media platforms to communicate.

Increased ownership of personal devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops has also affected how children and young people use technology, with concerns raised that their usage is becoming more private, and harder for parents to monitor.

These developments have raised questions about the impact of such use of technology on children and young people’s health and wellbeing. In addition, internet safety has become an integral part of child safeguarding in the UK, with the Government announcing an aim to make it the safest place in the world for children and adults to be online.

This briefing provides an overview on some of the ways technology can affect the health and wellbeing of children and young people. It focuses on the issues of: cyberbullying; the use of social media; and screen time. In addition, it sets out the Government’s policy relating to children and young people’s safety and wellbeing online.

Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0003

Author: Nicole Winchester

Topics: Child care, Internet and cybercrime, Obesity, Schools, Students, Telecommunications

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.