The Parent’s Guide to Video Game Safety
If your kids love video games, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure that they stay safe while gaming. If they like playing online games, you might be worried about which websites they are accessing, and if they prefer playing games for their favorite consoles, it’s only natural that you’ll want to ensure the games are age-appropriate before buying them. By following these tips courtesy of Sure Basics, you can find peace of mind while your kids play video games.
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Once you’ve decided on the best way to get your household connected to the Internet, it’s time to think about parental controls and cybersecurity. If your children will be playing online games on laptops or a household monitor, you can set up parental controls to bar them from visiting websites with inappropriate content.
VeryWellFamily also suggests using your router to restrict Internet access times to the hours when you know you’ll be home - that way, you can check in on your kids to double-check that they’re not accessing websites you would disapprove of or speaking to strangers. It’s important to find a balance between setting up reasonable restrictions and trusting your kids, so have an honest discussion about your expectations!
Whether your children are downloading online games or asking for games for their consoles, you’ll probably want to check out the content before they play. You don’t necessarily need to play the game yourself, but it’s a good idea to do some research before they pick up their controllers! Lifewire recommends checking out the game’s rating, looking up the game online to learn more about it, and explaining to your child why certain content is okay while other content isn’t. Yes, this might mean occasionally facing disappointment from your child, but ideally, you will find plenty of games that you approve of for your child. It’s also important to limit how many hours your child plays video games per day. In fact, consider all overall limit for the number of hours they spend looking at screens, period.
Are you concerned that your children are spending too much time playing video games rather than exercising, reading, doing arts and crafts, or enjoying other activities that don’t involve screens? Today, many parents worry that their kids get too much screen time, so establishing safe limits is key. For instance, allowing your children to have two hours of screen time per day gives them plenty of time to play video games, watch Netflix, virtual reality (VR) games without overdoing it. For any screen time, however, consider glasses that help protect against blue light, which has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns and induce headaches in some people.
Playing video games can be a fun pastime for children of all ages, but this activity does come with some risks. As a parent, you can take steps to make sure that your children stay safe while playing video games. With the right precautions, video games do not have to be a risky hobby for your kids!