Health experts ask Facebook to scrap new app for young kids

Doctors say social media can be harmful to social growth

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) - Many health experts are urging Facebook to shut down their new chat app for kids. Today, more than a dozen organizations and 100 child development experts sent a letter to Facebook saying this new app is unhealthy for kids. 

It's the question of the digital era, what age should kids be allowed to use social media? 

"I use to believe college, but now maybe high school, but nothing younger than high school.  " says parent Queen Lockett. 

Facebook on the other hand is not in agreement. Last month, they launched Messenger Kids. A video and messaging app designed for kids 13 and under.
    
Today, more than 100 Public Health Advocates from the Boston area called Commercial Free Childhood sent this News 8 the letter they sent Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to scrap the app. 

"We hav e organized a coalition of experts. who say screen time is already enough of a problem for adolescents and teens and the last thing we need is for kids age 4 & 5 to get in the habbit of getting on screen devices," David Monahan  said. 

Monahan's group called Facebook irresponsible. In Rochester, child psychologist Christopher Dehon says this new app will just lead to more screen time. 

"It takes a way from normal social interactions kids should be having that foster normal social  development," Dehon said. 

The National Parent Teacher Association tells News 8, it collaborated with Facebook when designing Messenger Kids and supports the app. 

Experts say it's up to parents to make sure thery're doing what's best for their kids. In other words, they can like or unlike this app. 


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