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Teens rack up more Internet time during summer

PHOENIX — The average person is on the Internet 18 hours a week. Now
that school is out, kids who stay home will easily go over that number,
especially teenagers.

“There’s new avenues of communication, which is good. The problem is that
means there is more connectivity with sexual predators,” said Dr. Chase
Kerrey with Doorways, LLC, a counseling center in Phoenix.

Kerrey said parents should be on the lookout for behavioral changes in their teens, such as unexplained desires to go somewhere, or to be online. Phone calls from people whose names parents don’t recognize asking for the teen should be red flags.

Kerrey even recommends an observational Internet filter for the computer. Programs like Covenant Eyes allow parents to monitor a child’s online usage without having to filter out websites.

Kerrey also recommends trying to set limits on how long children can stay online. That way they will do other things during summer break.