Setting Restrictions on PS4

PlayStation have a host of family-focused features available on PS4 to support parents in managing gameplay for younger gamers in the house.

Their Play Time Management feature keeps track of playtime for your kids and is part of their parental control system that offers a more flexible experience for families on PlayStation 4.

Here is a guide to some of the top parental control tips you can take advantage of to make your child’s gameplay more manageable.

Set-Up an Account for Your Child

First, set-up your kids’ account from Family Management. You can either create a new account for your child, or add an existing PSN account to the main family account.

All parental control settings can be customized for each child, so restrictions like age rating levels for games can be set separately. You can also keep each family member’s data separate and allow everyone to save their own game progress.

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management].

Select [Family Management], you will asked to enter your PSN password again.

Follow onscreen instructions to add family members.

Managing your Children’s Game Time

The PlayStation Play Time Management feature allows you to manage your children’s game time, this allows you to set timing parameters by day, or a set period of time.

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management] or log into your PlayStation account online to monitor and manage your child’s game time each day.

Apply timing restrictions to make sure that the child is only playing for a set amount of time.

Your child will receive notifications during gameplay so that he or she knows when they should save and quit. You have the option to add extra game time via your smartphone or PC.

You can also select an option to automatically log your child out of their account once their set time is over.

Setting Age Restrictions for Games

You can customize the age rating levels for games, to ensure the games your children are playing age-appropriate. Be sure the check the ESRB rating for each game title.

To update your children’s age restrictions, please follow the steps from PlayStation below:

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management].

Select the user you want to set the age level for, then select [Parental Controls].

Scroll down to [Age Level for Games] and press the [X] button.

Choose the age rating level you would like to set on this account.

Set Restrictions using passcodes

You can add an extra layer of security by setting a System Restriction Passcode on your PS4.

This prevents other users from logging into your account to make changes to parental controls, or view unauthorized content.

To add a passcode, please follow the steps from PlayStation below:

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management].

Select [PS4 System Restrictions].

You’ll be prompted to enter the default passcode before changing to a new one. The default passcode is “0000.”

Set a Monthly Spending Limit

To limit or completely restrict your children’s in-game purchases, you can set monthly spending limits.

Please see guidance on how to do this from PlayStation below:

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management].

Select the family member you wish to set a spending limit for.

Go to [Parental Controls] > [Monthly Spending Limit], and choose the maximum dollar amount.

Restrict Access to Network Features

You can restrict your children from communicating with other players online, or viewing content created by other players.

Simply follow the directions from PlayStation below:

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management].

Select the user you want to set parental controls for, then select [Parental Controls].

Restrict the Internet Browser

You can also completely restrict your children from going online, allowing them to only play the game.

Here are some simple steps from PlayStation to set it up:

Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management].

Select the user you want to apply Internet Browser restrictions.

Scroll down to ‘Use of Internet Browser’ and press the [X] button.

Select ‘Not Allowed’ to restrict this family member from accessing the Internet via the PS4 system’s web browser.

If you would like more guidance on this from PlayStation, please click here.

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5 fun and educational games for children

Gaming can be educational as well as entertaining. Want to know what some of the best educational games are? Then we’ve compiled a short list of some of the best out there.

Video games today offer captivating plot lines, gorgeous visuals, and top-notch sound effects. Younger and younger children are now playing video games because they’re so simple to understand and play. Not all video games are appropriate for young players. As a parent, you’ll want your children to enjoy the game and hopefully learn something along the way.

Scratch 

Scratch is unique because it doubles as a graphical programming language and a tool for teaching kids how to code using block-based concepts. It has some of the best instructive video games for younger children. 

Children can learn various programming languages, which are more complex than others. The programming language used by Scratch is one of the easiest to learn for complete beginners.

It’s creative design and ease of use is perfect for kids of all ages, especially younger ones who wish to begin learning to code. They’re introduced to programming in a friendly and entertaining way. 

Animal Jam 

The award-winning virtual playground, Animal Jam, was developed in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. By incorporating games, conferences, virtual networking features, and expeditions, it educates players about the environment and biology. It’s among the largest virtual environments for young people, claiming nearly 160 million members.  

The parental settings are solid and lets you download content for offline play if you have concerns about online gaming. 

Scribblenauts 

In this writing adventure game, the protagonist Maxwell is tasked with completing his journey and gathering tiny yellow stars known as Starites. Kids may exercise their imagination as they use their wits, language, and problem-solving skills to navigate each level. Each level in Scribblenauts is a free-form puzzle. The assignment may be as straightforward as picking up a Starite from a tree or as tricky as navigating crocodile-infested waters and evading werewolves.  

If you think a garden gnome, a stegosaurus, a blob, or even a swede will aid Maxwell, you can type these in as well, and they’ll show in-gam as the Scribblenauts lexicon has over 22,000 terms. Whatever you envision is realised on screen.

Minecraft 

You can build a world where players can explore, gather materials, make tools, and engage in light battles in Minecraft. The game offers a variety of modes, including survival, inventive, quest, stadium, and collaboration, giving players various ways to play. Minecraft gives its players more than just the ability to be creative and self-sufficient. 

Parents reported that their children read about biomes and learnt about distributing resources, calculating rations for adventures, and time management to get better at playing the game. 

Kerbal Space Program 

This space simulation game tasks players with building a rocket that will hopefully take off into space. It has been designed with realistic aerodynamic and orbital physics for accuracy.

If your ship successfully makes it into space your Kerbals can then explore the solar system, and build space stations and bases.

It even got attention from NASA itself.

With various game modes and plenty of tech and Kerbals to unlock there is plenty of scope for gamers to learn the ropes and explore the solar system.

 

We’ve provided you with a short list of the best educational games but there are plenty more out there!

4 Main Benefits of Gaming for Children

It’s natural to be concerned about the effects of video games on your children. But it’s actually good for them. Keep reading!

When it comes to children playing video games, there are numerous concerns which come up for families. Some children can get addicted to gaming, unable to put the controller down or switch to different games, others can undergo mood shifts during gaming sessions. Similarly, kids can get so focused that they are entirely engrossed in their video games. However, there are certain benefits as well. Though many parents worry about it, not all games are bad for kids’ development. Children can learn interactively through a variety of games. They assist in improving and educating kids about a range of skills.

Online video gaming among friends is a very popular activity for kids nowadays. These findings suggest that kids who play video games regularly may be more socially cohesive with their peers. We advise against over-interpretation, though, as Katherine M. Keyes, assistant professor at Columbia, said, “Setting restrictions on screen usage remains a crucial component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student achievement”.

Here is the list of positive effects of online gaming on children:

  1. Creativity And Problem-solving Abilities:

Children are challenged to think creatively as games like Legend of Zelda feature more complex puzzles for gamers. To progress through the game, the player needs to search, navigate, and plan their next moves using various strategies. Other video games, including “Bakugan: Defenders of the Core” also offer planning and problem-solving mechanics. The extremely popular game Minecraft invites users to use “moulding” features to alter the appearance of their characters.

Players can create new levels and even planets and prompt children to express themselves creatively.

  1. Reading:

Some studies have shown that children who play video games may develop improved reading skills. This is also true for children who face difficulty with reading itself. This correlation is because children feel encouraged to read text-based instructions more carefully when invested and enjoying their favourite video games.

Similarly, in deciding which video game to play next, children are likely to research games on blogs, review websites or online forums.

  1. Teamwork

Online gaming has almost become the default nowadays. It brings players from various parts of the world together and motivates children to play with others. Kids will learn to collaborate with others and solve challenges as a team.

This aids in developing beneficial decision-making abilities in practical sectors like athletics or medicine where making important decisions in the heat of the moment is frequently required.

  1. Enhanced Hand Dexterity

Game controllers are great for your hands. For example, in a study of 33 surgeons at Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York, researchers discovered that those who played video games were faster at completing complex surgical procedures. Moreover, this group also made 37% fewer errors than those who didn’t.  Other than providing physical rehabilitation, certain video games have also helped stroke patients to regain control of their arms and hands according to a study by the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Therefore, if your child is playing video games, you shouldn’t be concerned because it has some real benefits. However, make sure to supervise them and set boundaries for game time.

5 Most Child-Friendly Gaming Streamers

Want your kids to enjoy watching their favourite YouTube gamers but not entirely sure on where to go for child-friendly gaming content? We have pulled together a list of some of the most popular, child-friendly streamers.

There is no denying that online games are incredibly popular with kids, teenagers, and adults. The newest video games and gaming systems frequently top wish lists, dominate conversations online, at the dinner table and even in schools.

However, it’s natural to have concerns as a parent as with a lot of popular video games there can be some age sensitive content, particularly when it comes to games with themes of violence or online communication/combat. Parents frequently worry about vivid graphics and foul language used in gaming-related content, which is inappropriate for kids and affects their mental well-being and overall behaviour.

Addressing this issue, we have a list of gaming streamers who are very well-suited for kids to watch. However, you may still need to double-check their streams from time-to-time, to remain updated on the content your child is consuming.

Below are top 5 Child-friendly Streamers in the gaming industry:

1. Paul Soares Jr.

Paul understands the value of sharing kid-friendly YouTube material because he’s a parent. Kids may access these Minecraft tutorials on YouTube without being exposed to coarse language or sensitive material.

He uses words and jokes/references with great care. His approachable and supportive demeanour will assist your kid in playing Minecraft. For young players of the game, Soares has a YouTube channel.

Paul demonstrates to his viewers how to use tools and navigate around various maps while he plays Minecraft.

2. FalseSymmetry

Most people in the Youtube Gaming community are familiar with FalseSymmetry.

She never swears or speaks crudely. She primarily collaborates with other enthusiastic Minecraft builders on the Hermitcraft server, has a highly approachable and friendly presentation style and creative builds, and is family-friendly.

Making her one of the top gaming content creators, to watch.

3. NickEh30

Nick is a Canadian Fortnite gamer that predominantly plays on YouTube. When it comes to Fortnite edits, his followers will say he’s one of, if not THE best, due to his infectious energy. 

NickEh30 takes pride in being a family-friendly streamer, and he at times will even ask his followers for clarification in chat if he thinks they may have heard someone he’s playing with swearing.

4. EthanGamer

EthanGamer entered YouTube in 2013 when he was just seven years old to share his passion for video games.

Over the past ten years, his over 3 million YouTube fans have grown as they follow his explorations in Roblox, Minecraft, and other games. Kids can relate to EthanGamer since he’s a young gamer who has been playing since he was just a minor on the platform. 

Moreover, children may easily understand and relate to his colloquialism and language.

5. KarinaOMG

Karina gained a massive following as GamerGirl on YouTube after signing up in 2015 to publish vlogs, entertaining DIYs, and product reviews. While most of her content is around Roblox and Minecraft, she has also dabbled in other games like Among Us & Fall Guys.

Karina is a star on her primary channel (linked above) and her other channel, Sis vs Bro.

Now that we’ve given you the top 5, don’t just take our word for it! Head on over and check out their content and judge for yourselves 🙂

We hope this article helps!

Child Safety – Multiplayer Online Games

Keeping Children Safe Online; An overview for Parents and Guardians

You’ve most likely heard the phrase “don’t talk to strangers” from a loved one or you’ve likely been the one to say it as a parent… (Depending on your POV reading this article).

Well, the same saying goes online. Multiplayer games are soaring in popularity – a common selling point being they simply allow gamers the freedom of playing with fellow gamers across the world, within a dedicated server. Meaning essentially, you’re playing with a bunch of strangers. Therefore, prioritising your child’s privacy and safety becoming increasingly important.

Standard security measures may not be adequate and will mostly vary depending on the device/platform your child is using.

Due to their inherent traits of innocence, curiosity, autonomy, and fear of punishment, children pose additional difficulties. You should consider these factors while deciding how to safeguard your data and children.

Roblox, WoW (World of Warcraft), Minecraft, Fortnite, Farmville, and World of Tanks are a few examples of well-known MMOs. Massively Multiplayer Online games. Most MMOs allow users to communicate, play, and communicate with others in real-time across the game’s network. Thus, keeping your children from all these risks is crucial for their wellbeing. Here are a few areas that need to be focused on:

1. Implementing Parental Controls and Restrictions:

Software and tools called Parental controls let parents impose limits on how much time their kids spend online. Setting up restrictions is also an excellent approach to stopping your children from accessing inappropriate content.

2. Talk to your children about staying safe online:

In an era where multiplayer games are increasingly on the rise, it is no secret that gamers will eventually be thrown into a server with unknown users to them. Therefore, communication and honesty between parent and child being of utmost importance in order to build trust.

It’s fine to set limits, restrictions and controls for their safety, however children also need to see that their freedom is not entirely constricted. The aim here is to be understanding and open to discussion.

Talk to them about the risks of playing online games, be prepared to listen if they look unhappy about something that occurred while they were using the internet and urge them to use caution when determining what kinds of online games to play if they want to stay safe online.  

By becoming knowledgeable about the gaming world, game certifications, and how to utilize the privacy and safety features included in the games, parents can help to keep their child’s gaming experiences secure, age-appropriate, pleasant, enjoyable, and even educational.

Here are some topics to discuss with your kids:

  • Which individuals of their family and friends are permitted to play with them
  • Why they ought to just play online with friends and stay away from strangers
  • Why it is crucial to never share personal info
  • How to activate privacy settings to prevent contact with strangers
  • How to remove contacts from contact lists or block them
  • Speaking with you if something horrible occurs during the game
  • To alert you if a stranger continuously targets them or if they experience bullying from other players.
  • Why they should NEVER meet up in person with somebody they only know online

In short, being involved in your children’s online activities can guarantee that they get the most out of their time, while avoiding any risks that may pose a danger to themselves.

With that being said,

We’ll leave you with Parental Controls for 3 of the top Online Multiplayer Games popular with children at the moment –

  1. Log in to the account.
  2. Click the gear icon, and then click Settings.
  3. On the right-hand side of the Settings page, click Privacy.
  4. From here, you can adjust both Contact Settings and Other Settings.
  5. If your child is 12 or younger, you can choose Friends or No one. If your child is 13 or older, there are additional options for interaction with other players.

Parents who want additional control should go to the ‘Parental Controls’ section of the Account’s Settings page. Here, you can set a PIN and other account restrictions.

Users and parents can enable a 4-digit PIN which is required to make changes to the account.

Enabling Account Restrictions limits the account to only curated content and disables contact settings to prevent chatting.

Parents can see what their child is doing when logged into their account. They can see a list of creations, private message history, a list of friends and followers, and virtual item purchases and trade history. Simply navigate to the corresponding areas of the account to learn more: Create, Messages, Friends, and My Transactions respectively.

How to set up Parental Controls through the Epic Account Portal

  1. Open the Epic Games Launcher or the Epic Games Store website  (opens in new window).
  2. Sign in.
  3. Under your account name, select ACCOUNT.
  4. Choose PARENTAL CONTROLS from the left menu.
  5. Set Up your six-digit Parental Controls PIN. This PIN will be required to change parental controls in the future, so make sure to set a PIN that is different from other PINs that you use and is easy for you to remember.

You’re all set! You are now able to select your Parental Control preferences.

How to set up Parental Controls within the game itself

  1. Launch Fortnite on your platform of choice.
  2. Once in the Lobby, open the main menu.
  3. Select PARENTAL CONTROLS.

You will be asked to confirm the email address linked to the account. If no email address is linked to the account, you’ll be guided to a web browser so that you may create an Epic account using your email address.

4. Set up your six-digit Parental Controls PIN. This PIN will be required to change parental controls in the future, so make sure to set a PIN that is different from other PINs that you use and is easy for you to remember.

You’re all set! You are now able to select your Parental Control preferences.

Parental Controls on Minecraft –

Since the migration of all Minecraft and Mojang accounts to Microsoft accounts, both Bedrock and Java game clients benefit from increased account security, including the ability to activate two-factor authentication, which makes it much harder for intruders to access your account.

Also, Microsoft accounts benefit from parental controls that empower parents to choose what their kids can do in Minecraft online experiences, including what they can access, and who can they chat with.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition Parental Controls can be found on the Minecraft website here

Minecraft Java Edition Parental Controls can be found on the Minecraft website here

We hope this article helps!

Hidden Costs in Gaming; A guide for Parents and Guardians

Imagine you’ve just gotten home after a long day and loaded up your brand new game hoping to have some downtime and unwind… Only to find that the game you’ve paid for – requires additional in-game purchases to unlock certain features or content. Gamers, we know y’all can relate. 

RIP to the golden era where game ownership only required a one-time purchase fee.

Gaming is increasingly becoming a bigger deal in households, and in this article you can expect to learn everything you need to know about safeguarding your family’s spending against unforeseen expenses.

What are the hidden costs?

Games are no longer just a one-time buy anymore, as anyone with gamers in the family will have observed. The days of purchasing a video game from a store, rushing home to play it, and then getting a free restart after finishing it are long gone.

In-game purchases are a growing method of revenue generation for the gaming industry today. You may have spent over £40 on the most recent version of Just Dance, but a monthly membership is required to access the BEST dances. Of course, it is only a few pounds, but when you start adding up the costs for each game your kids want to play that is “only a few pounds,” collectively it may begin to amount to quite a bit of money each month.

This isn’t just an issue on gaming consoles either, you’ll notice a similar pattern with downloadable games on Smartphones, Tablets and PC alike, wherein you’re inundated with in-app purchases in order to progress. A notable and memorable example of this would be a targeted pop-up message asking whether you’d like to buy more armour, coins, lives or access new levels that would otherwise remain inaccessible to you without shelling out some extra cash. All as a means of tricking you into paying for things you shouldn’t need to be paying for to begin with.

It is understandably easier for a child playing a game to be influenced and fall into the trap of purchasing these things under the assumption that it’s all well in making their progress in the game that much easier and just at the click of a ‘Buy Now’ button – with the consequence of the payments being an afterthought.

However by then it is too late, as the payment has already gone through. In fact, some younger children might not even realise that the cash translates to real money, as they may not be as clued in to how in-app purchases work, therefore making them more susceptible targets. And before their parents know it, a sum of money has left their credit cards/debit cards if connected to the device the game is being played on.

The same goes for free trial subscriptions, which serve as bait. Sure, initially the game is being played for free but once the trial period is up, you start to find automatic charges on your card if you forgot to cancel the subscription.

You’ll notice even big games like Fortnite, which has taken the gaming world by storm – features in-game purchases for the likes of upgrading your character, notably known within the game as ‘Skins’.

In addition, another big name in the gaming world notably known as FIFA is widely known for its extensive player packs, the most expensive packs of which can cost more than £15.

Now it’s one thing if it’s just a one-off occasion and your child fancies a Player Pack however it doesn’t just stop there for some gamers.

I mean… Just ask this guy here.

 

 

 

 

 

In short, in-game purchases are everywhere, and so it is important to be aware of what games your children are playing and also whether your finances are connected/affected as a result, as in the long run, such charges can become an issue of concern.

 

What are Loot Boxes?

A good example of in-app purchase normally come parading as loot boxes. You’ll notice these as they normally come in the form of a treasure chest containing mystery items which might be character enhancements, i.e. clothing, health potions or even weapons.

It’s also important to note that loot boxes are often times randomised, essentially meaning sometimes you get lucky enough to redeem an item of value within the game to help you progress but other times, you might turn up unlucky with what you receive after opening these boxes. And so essentially it’s a gamble.

Loot box regulation talks were reaching a head the previous year. MPs and lawmakers were putting out legislation, requesting studies, and calling for regulatory agencies to investigate the practice. The argument here was that loot boxes should legally be classified as a form of gambling, due to the fact that buying them does not necessarily guarantee anything valuable, as at times they can just be random items of a pointless nature/no use. Therefore the gamer is relying solely on chance – which is the prominent essence of gambling.

What is being done to counter these hidden fees and unauthorised spending?

Concerns about loot boxes have been raised because, in a small number of highly publicised cases, children have run up expensive debts without their parents’ knowledge. It is possible to spend a lot of money very rapidly when a credit card is linked to a gaming console or smartphone, especially if there are no passwords set up, and you may make repeated purchases of loot box-style things without your knowledge if your child is entrusted with your device.

The government is now debating legislation regarding loot boxes and how to categorise them. Click here to read more about the UK Government’s stance on loot boxes and how it affects young people. Many nations, including Belgium and Germany, have already taken steps to categorise loot boxes as gambling and are tightening the laws surrounding them.

However it is time for game companies and corporations to take responsibility and acknowledge that their designs are contributing to tempting children into a world of gambling, and that is something none of us want, as increased stories surface about how gambling addictions fuelled by these games are draining parents’ bank accounts of money, like the teen who spent £3,000 on FIFA.

In 2020 the Universities of Plymouth and Wolverhampton; commissioned by Gamble Aware, released a report titled ‘Lifting the Lid on Loot Boxes’ – noting that Game Developers have moved to a more business-focused approach to gaming, with developers accruing ongoing revenue through the likes of extra downloadable content, ongoing subscriptions and season passes etc.

“All innovations of which have propelled the Game Industry miles above both the music and film industry combined.”

Their study also found that in 93% of children who play video games, up to 40% opened loot boxes. A percentage which is certainly enough to call for concern.

It is a big issue which Game Developers are aware of considering the designers work on making loot boxes and these subscriptions more desirable and exciting to gamers – who will be more susceptible to falling for the bait due to the excitement, attraction and then the anticipation of what they may receive.

At the present time, it remains yet to be seen whether Game Developers do anything to change this.

So what can you do as a Parent/Guardian?

1. Parents, Guardians and even knowledgeable Gamers alike can all learn from this article and take measures such as monitoring their payment subscriptions and plans across their devices and those set up for or by their children.

2. It would also be advisable to make any payment methods you have set up on your mobile/tablet devices, as password-protected. Meaning no one aside from you can approve of payments on your cards across the devices in question. This would then mean that unassuming children are not able to spend any cash without your knowledge or authorisation.

3. It would also help to have a sit-down with your children and make them aware of scams and loot boxes – even if it’s explaining it in a much simpler way in ensuring they understand that loot boxes are not worth spending money over under the premise that a reward is not always guaranteed.

Take Precautionary Measures on You and Your Children’s Devices –

1. On PS4 and PS5

Sony PS4 and PS5 have Parental Control settings that restrict the types of games that can be played and downloaded, as well as video content that can be viewed. Parental controls are usually found within the Settings, under the Parental Controls/Family Management section. 

2. On Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch has various parental control options so that parents can restrict or monitor their children’s activities. The free Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app makes it easier to do so, even when you’re not at home.

If you’ve downloaded the Switch mobile app, follow the on-screen instructions under Parental Controls to sync the app and your Switch to the same Nintendo Account.

Next, using the mobile app, you can now set time limits for different users and block inappropriate content.

3. On Xbox One and Series X|S

XBOX consoles require users to be signed in with an account. Consoles apply a range of default settings based on the details of the account holder. For example, for users aged 17 and younger, purchases are usually blocked. There are two methods of setting up parental controls on your Xbox Consoles: either through the ‘Family’ feature, which allows users to group user accounts together on a console; or by signing in individually to the account that you may want to restrict.

As for purchase settings on Xbox, select your child’s account under Family and go to Privacy & Online Safety > Xbox Live privacy > View details & customize > Buy & download.

4. Google Play devices (Mobile and Tablets)

Google Play has Parental Controls to restrict the content you can download or purchase from Google Play on your device. By default, parental controls are turned off.

To switch them on, open the Play Store app on your Android device, scroll down to the Parental Controls option, and access the Settings option.

5. App Store Purchases (Mobile)

Similarly to it’s Android counterpart Google Play, Apple also provide their mobile users with Security Controls to restrict purchases and downloads from the App Store. If your iPhone is up to date, users looking to download any games or apps will be presented with a ‘Sign In with Apple ID’ window asking for your Apple ID password in order to authorise downloads/any transactions.

Furthermore, if you head to SETTINGS > Scroll down to App Store and head into Personalised Recommendations, you’ll also be able to view any Purchased Apps & Games, Subscriptions and Pre-Orders made with your account.

It’s important to note that this article is only here to inform, offer advice and help keep parents, children and gamers alike, aware of the risks that come with in-game purchases and loot boxes.

Please remember, to Game Responsibly.

Setting Parental Controls on Consoles

Need support on configuring your child’s console? Please refer to the videos below – depending on your child’s platform of choice.

Please Note: The XBOX Parental Controls apply to both XBOX ONE and XBOX Series X|S consoles.

How we are reducing our CO2 Footprint

As well as our focus on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in landfill by introducing Plastic-Free-Packaging in 2018, we are also very committed to reducing our carbon emissions footprint. How are we achieving this?

Less containers equals less trucks

By switching from 20 ft to 40ft shipping containers we have more than halved the amount of containers we use to freight our stock. Our decision to only ship 40 ft containers has removed 53 truck journeys from factory to port and from port to our warehouse – and that is this year ALONE!

We also only ever use very large container vessels which is the least environmentally damaging mode of long-haul shipping, as you can see in the comparison chart below.

 

NO MORE AIRFREIGHT

Last year we also made the big decision to never airfreight stock. Sending shipments by air as opposed to sea and land is far worse for emissions (see chart above). Since the decision was made to no longer airfreight we have seen a 62 tonne reduction in our carbon emissions.

Improved container utilisation

We have also changed the way we order stock from our suppliers and manufacturers. We factor in container utilisation into our stock ordering decisions, and we will make changes if we need to, to ensure there is no wasted space or too much air space in the containers we use. We always strive to fit products into our containers in the most effective way possible.

Some more information on this can be found by clicking on this link http://www.davidpublisher.com/Public/uploads/Contribute/5d13133e8583b.pdf

And this is just the beginning, we are continually on the look out for and implementing changes within our business that will make us more environmentally friendly.

Effects Of Tech-Addiction

Game Responsibly

Tech addiction affects us in ways we don’t even realise… until it becomes a problem. Addiction is characterised as a recurring desire to continue doing or taking something despite the potential negative effects. 

We’re all guilty of spending too much time online – albeit on our phones, computers or whatever device we can get our hands on. And it’s not hard to see why given that due to consumerism, we’re eager to get our hands on the next best thing in the technology market.

Whilst technology itself is convenient and offers many benefits to us individually and collectively – such as keeping us in loop with each other via social media and keeping us informed through various news outlets and media sources for entertainment, it’s very easy to lose ourselves when immersing into our screens. Which could lead to long-term effects related to screen addiction.

“Adults in the UK spend an average of six hours and 25 minutes on their phones, TVs and laptops each day during lockdown. Whereas 41% of parents of 12 to 15-year-olds find it hard to control their child’s screen time” – OFCOM

Humans as social beings have been proven to be reliant on human contact for both our emotional and physiological well-being. However as highlighted throughout the pandemic; what with the restrictions around physical proximity, many have been heavily reliant on the use of social media for online communication – with figures still on a significant rise.

NHS Digital reported that 95% of 11-19 year olds use social media and 89% use it every day.

“62% of polled UK adults saying they ‘hate’ how much time they spend on their phone” – Time To Log Off.

Tech-addiction poses both short-term and long-term risks. Key examples being –

Physical Strain on the Eyes – Spending long hours staring at a screen definitely takes its toll on your body, especially your eyes. Excessive screen time not only strains your eyes and leaves them feeling dry, but can also lead to retina damage and blurred vision.

OFCOM found that during lockdown people in the UK were spending around 40% of their time watching TV and online video.

“Out of 2,000 people surveyed, half used screens more since Covid struck and a third (38%) of those believed their eyesight had worsened, a survey suggested” – Fight for Sight

Lower Self-Esteem and Effects on Mental Health – Impaired Social Skills – We don’t have many real-life interactions when we are preoccupied with what’s happening on our screen. This could lead to increasing anti-social tendencies and feelings of withdrawal.

“Recent research has shown that screen time is negatively associated with social skills development in toddlers.

Specifically, the more time they spend with devices the more their social development suffers in the areas of relating and interacting with others and compliance with directions and ability to help others” – BMC Public Health

Delayed Learning in Children – When it comes to young children, the alteration of the brain’s structure due to excessive screen time can impact their learning abilities.

Letting children watch educational programs may not be the best way to educate them either – young children learn better by physically exploring, and letting them watch shows passively hinders their brains from being active and engaged.

“66% of 5-7-year-olds watch TV, play games and go online for 30 hours a week (over 4 hours a day)

81% 8-11-year-olds watch TV, play games and go online for 37.5 hours a week” – RCP

Spending too much time in the virtual world of screens can also have a negative impact on how you perceive yourself.

The time you lose that could have been spent on forming relationships with other people, discovering and honing your passions, and creating new experiences leads to a weakened sense of self-identity and confidence. When the bulk of your time is spent on social media sites, this problem is exacerbated because you may end up worrying more about your virtual self-image instead of your real one.

For children and youth, the dangers of cyberbullying and self-image issues are particularly worrying.

“27.3% of children (aged 11-19) felt they compare themselves to others on social media” – NHS Digital

“Teens who report the least in-person interaction and the most screen time have the highest rates of loneliness and depression” – SAGE Journal

“One in five girls between 11 and 19 have been bullied online in the past year” – NHS Digital

“16.7% of boys between 11 and 19 have been bullied online in the past year” – NHS Digital

There are plenty of resources to help with this issue. The Canadian Paediatric Society published some guidelines on recommended screen time for children.

  • No screen time for children under 2 years old, with the exception of video calls with friends and family
  • Less than an hour a day of routine screen time for children 2 to 5 years old
  • Avoid any screen time for at least an hour before bed
  • Stick to a routine for daily “screen-free” times in particular during meal time, homework, etc.

They also recommended the below steps on how to limit screen time for children:

1. Manage screen use:

  • Make and regularly review or revise a Family Media Plan, including individualized time and content limits
  • Continue to be present and engaged when screens are used and, whenever possible, co-view and talk about content with children and teens
  • Discourage media multitasking, especially during homework
  • Learn about parental controls and privacy settings
  • Obtain their child’s or teen’s passwords and login information for devices and social media accounts, to help ensure safety online and to follow online profiles and activities if concerns arise
  • Speak proactively with children and teens about acceptable and unacceptable online behaviours

2. Encourage meaningful screen use:

  • Prioritize daily routines, such as interacting face-to-face, sleep, and physical activity over screen use
  • Prioritize screen activities that are educational, active, or social over those that are passive or unsocial
  • Help children and teens to choose developmentally appropriate content and to recognize problematic content or behaviours
  • Be a part of their children’s media lives. For example, join in during video game play and ask about their experiences and encounters online
  • Advocate for schools, child care centres and after-school programs to consider developing their own plan for digital literacy and screen use

3. Model healthy screen use:

  • Encourage parents to review their own media habits, and plan time for alternative hobbies, outdoor play and activities
  • Remind parents and adolescents of the dangers of texting or using headphones while driving, walking, jogging, or biking
  • Encourage daily “screen-free” times, especially for family meals and socializing
  • Ask whether screens are “off” when not in use, including background TVs
  • Remind parents and teens to avoid screens at least 1 hour before bedtime and discourage recreational screen use in bedrooms

4. Monitor for signs of problematic use:

  • Complaints about being bored or unhappy without access to technology
  • Oppositional behaviour in response to screen time limits
  • Screen use that interferes with sleep, school or face-to-face interactions
  • Screen time that interferes with offline play, physical activities or socializing face-to-face
  • Negative emotions following online interactions or video games or while texting

We currently live in a society where the duality of tech-use (gaming, social media, work, online classes) has become more prevalent but hopefully with routine and monitoring this doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be a healthy relationship for you and your family.

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