NATIONAL charity publishes guidance to safeguard young and vulnerable people and help them make informed decisions about gaming and gambling during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), a national charity that works to inform, educate and safeguard young people has published a series of advice blogs to support parents through the lockdown. As schools remain closed, many young people are turning to their digital devices to explore the multitude of games and activities accessible online. Reports suggest there has been a significant rise in the amount of time people are playing online with weekly games sales increasing by up to 60% and stories of children spending 15 hours a day in front of a screen.
The charity has responded to the concerns of parents and insists it is more important than ever to build digital resilience amongst young people to help them understand the potential risks and consequences. The important guidance provides tips and information on parental controls and helps identify potential signs of gaming and gambling-related harms.
The ‘Advice to Parents’ blogs have been published on ygam.org and cover four main topics:
- Identifying potential signs of gaming-related harms read
- 5 top tips for a healthy gaming balance read
- Identifying potential signs of gambling-related harms read
- Understanding and controlling in-app purchases read
Amanda Atkinson, Head of Parental Engagement at YGAM said:
“Staying home is the best thing we can all do to stem the spread of COVID-19 but this brings its own struggles as parents deal with a heady mix of anxiety and youthful energy, making online play feel like both a blessing and a curse.
“The enormous variety of games and in-app purchases available can make it confusing for parents to keep on top of safety controls. Through our educational resources and advice blogs, we are focused on providing crucial information to parents so they can monitor changes in behaviour and effectively use the parental controls available to them.”
Later this month, YGAM will also be launching the first part of their new parent hub website with a wide range of valuable information resources and activities to help protect young and vulnerable people from gaming and gambling-related harms.
In collaboration with GamCare and supported by the Betting and Gaming Council, YGAM is delivering the UK’s national education programme to raise awareness of the potential risks of gaming and gambling. As part of the programme, at least one session of gambling awareness will be delivered to all 11-19-year-olds in the country by 2024.