Ireland: Parents Take Action Against Smartphones Amid Increasing Concerns About Children’s Mental Health

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Concerned Irish parents in a town near to Dublin have come together to enforce a smartphone ban for children until they finish elementary school.

Justyna Flynn, a clinical psychologist and resident of Greystones with three children in school, told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday: “It was just the striking results of the rising anxiety, depression and everything we noticed … of having a mobile phone, especially among young kids” She added that “the support this town got was incredible.” 

NYPost reports: The parents associations at eight schools across the town of Greystones in County Wicklow decided earlier this summer to restrict smartphone access for their children amid concerns of rising anxiety and potential exposure to adult material, The Guardian reported. 

The agreement, entered into jointly by all groups in a rare show of unity among so many groups, would see children restricted from phones at home, in school, and elsewhere until they reach middle school and high school.

Schools had already banned or restricted device use on their grounds, but the parents decided to take things a step further.

“I think the access the kids have to the internet, or the internet having access to our children – we don’t know what’s going on there,” Flynn explained, saying she hopes the restriction extends through middle and high school as well. 

“The brain is not developed [for children] … their use of the phone is associated with anxiety, depression, obesity, sleeping disorders, and many other health problems,” she added. 

Reports released earlier this year from the United Nations found that smartphones are “distracting students from learning and increasing risks to their privacy at the same time,” the BBC reported.  

Additionally, the report found that students performed better academically once smartphones were removed from schools.

Smartphones provide “distraction, disruption, bullying, and abuse and can be detrimental to learning,” according to the British Department for Education, which suggested that teachers “consider restricting or prohibiting mobile phones to reduce these risks.” 

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15111 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.