Parental control app, planoApp, can keep your children safe online and their eyes healthy!
Keeping kids away from screens is just not possible, let’s face it! If they’re not nose-deep in a tablet or computer at school, they’re glued to the TV or their smartphones at home. Studies show that children aged 11 to 14 are spending at least nine hours a day on their devices*. And while screen use is the norm in our globally connected world, this comes with several side effects on your child’s health – their eyesight, in particular. Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia, or short-sightedness (where you can see close objects clearly but distant objects appear blurred) in the world.** So how do you ensure your child’s eyes stay healthy while allowing them sensible screen time? Wouldn’t it be marvellous if there was an app for that?
Enter planoApp by Plano, a parental control app that helps monitor your kiddos’ screen time, eye health and more! Initially supported by the Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute and National Health Innovation Centre, Plano believes in helping parents and children build safe, healthy relationships with their devices. They do this through several innovative tools:
planoApp – your digital parent
The planoApp has several features that help keep your child’s digital use in check. The app works in the background of phones and tablets, allowing parents to set device-free timings – think study times or meals. It can also block inappropriate apps, and uses smart alerts to remind your child to take regular eye breaks and hold their devices at a safe distance away from their eyes.
Does your kiddo use prescription glasses, too? The planoApp will alert your child to put their glasses on if they have forgotten to do so. Your child will also get reminders about maintaining a healthy posture while using their device! An added low light detection feature will pop up if your child uses their device in the dark, too! Other cool features include a remote device lock you can use anywhere and any time; a Safe Zone function that lets you determine what is a safe location and what isn’t and track your child’s whereabouts; the ability to restrict inappropriate apps and browsers; and schedule your child’s screen time each day.
planoShop – for family-friendly activities
Want something fun to do with your kid that doesn’t involve smart devices? Check out the planoShop, an in-app, e-commerce platform that’s filled with a variety of fam-friendly stuff. In addition to a range of cool products, the planoShop also offers enrichment classes and outdoor activities (a day out at the NERF Action Xperience Park anyone?) with exclusive discounts. The planoShop is a great way to encourage healthy device usage because their good device behaviours will earn them planoPoints. These points can then be used to request specific planoShop items, which, in turn, unlocks additional discounts for the experiences on offer.
planoEyecheck – eye care for the whole fam
Plano has developed planoEyecheck, which can be found within the planoApp. It works as a standalone web platform, making it easy for families and adults to book and keep up to date with optometrist appointments! Use the planoEyecheck to find an optometrist near you and make a booking in under a minute. Going for regular eye checks helps you detect and manage potential eye and vision problems, prevent loss of eyesight and minimise the risk of myopia – all of which saves you money on eye health costs.
Want to win a year’s free subscription to the planoApp? Click here to participate in Plano’s online Q&A! Each participant will also get a book ($12 per book) from The Plano Adventures book series for free – there are 50 to be won.
*According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018. Screen Time vs. Lean Time.
**According to MOH