Major operators such as the Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, and TikTok, require users to be at least 13 years old, but Australia’s most populous state is investigating options to lift the limit to protect minors from online harm.

“Sixteen sounds right for me,” Premier Chris Minns told radio 2GB on Monday in reference to a possible minimum age.

“The truth is everybody’s had enough and we’re seeing the long-term effects of, at best, just wasting hours and hours on devices and, at worst, doing serious psychological damage,” he said.

Before any reform occurred, the premier noted that he would have to look at whether statewide enforceability was possible, adding that he preferred a national approach.

The Federal Government is due to pilot age-verification technology amid rising concern over harmful content on social media, while South Australia is investigating whether the state can impose bans for those under 14.

Under its proposal, parents would also have to give their consent for children aged 14 and 15 to access a social media account.

In NSW, mobile phones have been banned in all public schools since October, while 250 extra school counsellors have been recruited and a $2.5 million research fund has been set up to investigate the impacts of excessive screen time.

The NSW Government on Monday announced a state summit to look at the impact of social media platforms on young people.

It will bring in experts including policy makers and academics, as well as representatives of the main platforms.

Minns called the snap summit as he believed the “biggest issue facing parents is kids’ access and exposure to devices and social media”.

“I’m convinced we need more conversations and solutions for parents, schools and communities about how to manage this,” he said.

“This summit will bring together experts and parents alike to talk about what more we can do to protect the wellbeing of our children.”

A large body of evidence showed social media carried risks for young people, including high rates of mental health issues, the Government said.

A large proportion of young social media users were also at risk of image-based sexual abuse, as well as privacy and security issues.