AMARILLO, Texas(KAMR/KCIT) —Recently the U.S. Surgeon General put out a message highlighting the latest research which shows how social media is impacting the health of teens and young adults. While it’s not new that social media can impact mental health negatively, the U.S. Surgeon General stressed just how damaging social media is to young kids and called on social media companies, lawmakers, and parents to take action.

Belinda Palacios has some tips for parents as they navigate social media apps.

· Reach out for help: If you or someone you know is being negatively affected by social media reach out to trusted friend/ adult for help. The American Guide of Pediatrics has guidance for social media on their website.

· Create boundaries: Connect with people in person and make unplugged interactions daily a priority.

· Be cautious what you share: Personal info about yourself has value so be selective with what you post and share on-line. Remember once posted it becomes public and can be stored permanently. If you question posting something best not to.

· Don’t keep harassment or abuse secret: Reach out to at least one person you trust who can offer help and support. has tips on how to report cyberbullying. If your private images have been taken and shared on-line without your permission visit Take It Down to help get them removed. Last if experiencing on-line harassment and abuse by a dating partner contact an expert at Love Is Respect for support.

· Create a family media plan: Agreed upon expectations can help establish healthy technology boundaries at home- including social media. A family media plan can promote open family discussion and rules about social media use and include topics as balancing screen/on-line time, content boundaries andnot disclosing personal info.

· Create tech-free zones: Restrict use of electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime and throughout the night in order get adequate sleep. Keep meal times and other in-person gatherings tech-free. Help children develop social skills and nurture their in-person relationships by encouraging unstructured and off-line connections with others.

· Model responsible behavior: Parents can set a good example of what responsible and healthy social media use looks like by limiting their own use. Be mindful of social media habits and model your behavior on your own social media accounts.

· Empower kids: Teach kids about technology—its’ here and not going anywhere. Empower them to be responsible on-line participants at the appropriate age. Discuss with kids the benefits and risks of social media as well as the importance of respecting privacy and protecting personal info in age appropriate ways. Have conversations with kids about who they are connecting with, their privacy settings, their on-line experiences and how they are spending their time on on-line.