WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – With school out and the temperatures sitting in the triple digits, getting the kids outside to play can be tough.

However, letting them sit in front of a screen all day isn’t attractive either.

FOX 44 News spoke with licensed clinical social worker Jane Kim Gray about what dangers too much social media can hold for the developing minds of youngsters.

“I do think that too much social media, too much screen time, can have a negative effect,” she says. “Not only on attention span, but on self esteem, you know? On a child’s perspective of the world. So I’m always really trying to get parents and caregivers to limit screen time.

“It can be a fun tool, it can be a positive tool. Sometimes, you know, to watch something funny on social media, it can make you feel better. It can lighten your mood. Learning a dance on TikTok can be a really fun activity for kids to get moving and get out there. But overall, for the most part, you want to limit screen time and monitor what your child is being exposed to on social media.

“This this kind of a shift in what’s happening where, you know, kids are going to be very spring focused. So what I have seen is that not necessarily, that it’s causing ADHD, but I do have a lot of clients who are diagnosed with ADHD. And for a big majority of them, they have experienced a lot of trauma at a young age. So sometimes they’re more prone to turn to something like TikTok or social media for that dopamine fix, for that good feeling.

“Because it is a nice distraction to the real world, or the outside world, you know? For a young kid that could possibly be going through a really tough time, maybe they’re getting bullied, maybe they’re dealing with somebody traumatic – and so, they might go to that as their coping mechanism to scroll and have some mindless rolling time where, you know, you can you feel numb. You’re not feeling whatever pain you’re going through.

“So….and that can quickly turn into a negative thing when it becomes too much, right? So we want to make sure that we’re giving those kids positive coping skills to fill that void. So instead of TikTok, maybe, you know, you and your family can do arts and crafts together. Maybe there there can be journaling activities, listening to music, watching a movie together as a family, you know?

“It can be a cause for concern, but, you know, it’s a very common thing that most families go through. So I wouldn’t say that it’s it’s an overwhelming concern, but it is something that needs to be monitored.”