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Online safety for kids, what you need to know

May 23, 2017

 

The internet is amazing. I have a 5 year old little boy who will ask questions of me that I have no clue how to answer. I usually respond with a comment that “Mummies know most things but not everything, so shall we look it up?” I have taught him there is a wealth of knowledge to be found on the internet but we are yet to cover the dangers of the world wide web but  this is something I will be tackling sooner rather than later.

 

I am now more aware than every that we need to tackle this right now when my son is innocently watching peppa pig on youtube only to find he is watching the most gruesome version of this children’s program I’ve ever seen,I found that there wasn’t one but hundreds of these labelled up as kids content! This started me thinking of the vulnerability and trust these kids have in what they see and read in the first few years of experiencing life on the net. We need to educate them so they know when to turn something inappropriate off as its not always caught by a filter you may have put in place. I have what I thought were pretty strict filters on the ipads but these have somehow slipped through the net.

 

Children can play, learn, create and connect - opening up a whole world of exciting possibilities. But with the digital world changing all the time, kids are online more than ever before and have access to things we would be horrified to learn about. Social media is a minefield, it can be great connecting people and bringing people together but it can a an open gate for bullying and ostracising you individuals without a parents knowledge.

Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may: 

  • search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing

  • share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like youtube, Instagram etc…

  • use social networking websites like facebook and Twitter

  • write or reply to messages on forums and message boards

  • play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles

  • chat with other people through online games, BBM (Blackberry Messenger), game consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp

When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family.

There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online. 

 

I am by no means an expert but having done a bit of research for myself and the KidsRock childminding setting I thought it would be great to let parents know how you make sure your child’s staying safe.

Here are some great links to help you better understand how to get children safe online:

 

www.getsafeonline.org/safeguarding-children/

http://www.icmec.org/education-portal/

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety

 

For my fellow childminders and teachers I found this through the NSPCC website which might prove a very useful tool. free classroom resources 

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