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Smartphones keep us connected and entertained, while allowing parents and children to feel safe knowing they have so much information in their pocket.

While smart devices have many benefits, unsupervised use of these devices can cause problems, from eye irritation to distraction from school work. Monitoring and limiting a child’s activity on smart devices can help curb these negative effects.

Here are five apps to keep track of your child’s phone usage.

GOOGLE FAMILY LINK:

With this app, parents with Android devices can limit their child’s screen time and customize SafeSearch filters to block inappropriate content from appearing in search results.

Family Link also allows parents to block certain apps from being installed on a child’s Android device. If your child tries to turn off the controls, the device is locked until you unlock it.

THE NORTON FAMILY

Norton Family lets you get browser history reports, YouTube viewing history, and insights into what keywords they’re searching for.

It also lets you remotely lock your child’s smart device and has a feature called School Time to help them stay focused while they tackle any homework online.

This service is compatible with most devices and their software. It costs about $50 a year.

LIFE360:

Life360 is a service centered around location sharing. With location notifications and accident detection features, you can be alerted when any of your kids leave or arrive somewhere, or if they might be involved in a car accident.

The app also offers an option to call local emergency services in case of an emergency when the “SOS” feature is activated. Life360 also has data breach alerts and theft protection.

All these features are paid for by a monthly subscription of $15 to $25 per month.

AMAZON KIDS:

Working in a similar way to the Netflix Kids profile, Amazon Kids offers an experience tailored to children of selected ages.

Amazon Kids also allows parents to set goals for kids to complete certain tasks at specific times and restrict access to certain web pages. It also blocks in-app purchases.

Amazon Kids works best on Amazon’s own Fire tablets, but the app is also available for download on Android and iOS devices.

Custodio

Like Norton Family, Qustodio offers reports on your child’s device activity, but what sets Qustodio apart is the option to view texts and calls on your child’s phone.

Having boundaries with your children and respecting their privacy is very important when maintaining your relationship with them, so it is not recommended as a first option or as an experiment. But if you find yourself in a certain situation where you feel that using this feature is necessary, then it is useful.

Qustodio is compatible with most mobile platforms, and subscriptions can cost up to $138 per year.

Through New York family

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