Megan Moreno invited to participate in White House roundtable discussion addressing child online safety

Group of people sitting around a table in a White House conference room

Responding to a January 24 invitation, Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor and interim chair, Department of Pediatrics, traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate as one of the advocates and experts in a Kids Online Health and Safety Task Force listening session held on January 31. The session gave Moreno and nine other experts in diverse fields an opportunity to share the latest research. Moreno serves not only as a pediatrician whose research group focuses on effects of social media on children and teens, but also as the co-medical director of the Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health. Moreno was able to discuss current research on social media as it affects youth mental health, current research gaps, and the AAP center’s solution-based approaches.

Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor and interim chair
Dr. Megan Moreno

A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the social media risks for young people held that same day attracted national media attention. On February 1, Moreno was interviewed by Michel Martin on NPR’s Morning Edition, answering questions about the influence of social media on young people’s lives. She emphasized both the great benefits and the risks, as well as how families can guide and support their children in their online experiences.

“As in learning to drive a car, not all children are ready at the same age,” Moreno explained when asked whether a federal age ban would be effective for reducing potential harm. “Parents need to carefully judge their children’s readiness for social media and make decisions accordingly.”

Moreno regarded the experience as exemplary of the Department of Pediatrics’ long history of robust advocacy for children beyond clinics to schools, detention centers, homes, and — as in her White House roundtable participation — the legislature.