European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 178, Issue 10, pp 1605–1612 | Cite as

Social media and children: what is the paediatrician’s role?

  • Adamos HadjipanayisEmail author
  • Elisavet Efstathiou
  • Peter Altorjai
  • Tom Stiris
  • Arunas Valiulis
  • Berthold Koletzko
  • Helena Fonseca
EAP Statement


Social media use has become an integral part of children’s and adolescents’ lives. It has become a novel way of interaction among people and influences people’s social lives and public opinion as well as people’s purchasing decisions and businesses. Any website or platform that allows social interaction is considered to be a social media site. Social media use among children in 25 European countries has been reported to be 38% among 9–12 year olds and 77% among those aged 13–16 years. All these children report having their own profile on at least one social network site. While social networking provides children and adolescents with many opportunities and benefits, it also carries many risks. Among the benefits are socialization and communication enhancement, improving learning skills, positive impact on education and getting health information. Potential risks of social media use include falsifying age and identity, cyberbullying, sexting, Facebook depression, gamification, glamourization, cyberostracism and sleep disturbances.

Conclusion: Paediatricians play a vital role in promoting the physical, mental and social welfare of all children. There is a critical need for paediatricians to play an active role, guiding children and families appropriately through the impact of social networking, in order to become a real driver of children’s development.


Social media Social media use Cyberbullying Sexting Gamification Glamourization 



Social network site


Authors’ contributions

Adamos Hadjipanayis: study conception, design and drafting the article

Elisavet Efstathiou: drafting the article

• Peter Altorjai: contributed to the improvement of the manuscript in terms of content

• Tom Stiris: study conception and reviewed the manuscript

• Arunas Valiulis: scrutinized and reviewed the manuscript

• Bert Koletzko: scrutinized and reviewed the manuscript

• Helena Fonseca: commented on the initial draft and contributed to improve the manuscript in terms of content.

All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsLarnaca General HospitalLarnacaCyprus
  2. 2.Medical SchoolEuropean University of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.European Academy of PaediatricsBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Association of Hungarian Primary Care PaediatriciansBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Department of NeonatologyOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Faculty of medicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  7. 7.Vilnius University Medical FacultyInstitutes of Clinical Medicine and Health SciencesVilniusLithuania
  8. 8.LMU - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Dr. von Hauner Children’s HospitalUniv. of Munich Medical CentreMunichGermany
  9. 9.Adolescent Medicine Division, Department of PaediatricsUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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