Children Won't Discuss Seeing Upsetting Content Online

More than half of children here and across East Anglia have not spoken to anyone after seeing something online that made them feel uncomfortable.

According to Action for Children, almost one in five (23 per cent) of the eight to 17-year-olds surveyed said that they did not raise their concerns because they were worried they would get in to trouble.

To mark Safer Internet Day [Tuesday, February 10], Actio n for Children is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the time they spend online.

Deanna Neilson, head of child protection at Action for Children, said: “Just one in five children told us they had spoken to someone after seeing something online that made them feel uncomfortable.

“We believe it’s important for parents to ask children about the day they’ve had online, just as they ask about the day they’ve had at school.”

The survey also revealed that of those East Anglian children who did talk to somebody, nearly three quarters (74 per cent) went to their parents, nearly half (47 per cent) to their friends and a fifth (21 per cent) to a teacher.

Deanna Neilson added: “Parents need to be open to discussions about their online worries. The best way to make yourself approachable is to talk to your children about their activity at all times – not just when you’re concerned.”

Top tips for parents to help their children stay safe online:

  • Discuss and agree parameters before your child joins a social networking site. Check the minimum age requirements.
  • Consider whether a trusted adult should be added as a ‘friend’ and ensure your child has a ‘private’ profile.
  • Talk about the potential dangers of sharing personal data.
  • Remind your child that the same rules about bullying and stranger danger apply online as they do in public places and at school.
  • Ensure your child knows how to report and block people online.
  • Tell them they can talk to you about anything that upsets or worries them online – you’re on their side.

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