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Safety and Injuries > Internet Safety

Internet Safety

Today's internet offers many resources to easily gather information literally without leaving our homes. We sometimes forget that this ease of information also incurs risks if not done responsibly.

Violence, pornography, and other objectionable material is often accidentally (or intentionally) found by young children as they search the internet or play a video game.

Some interesting statistics from internet-filter-review.com:

  • 1 in 7 youths have received sexual solicitation on the internet.
  • Average age of first internet exposure to pornography: 11 years
  • 8-16 year olds having viewed porn online: 90% (most while doing homework)
  • 15-17 year olds having multiple hard-core exposures: 80%
  • 7-17 year olds who would freely give out their home address: 29%

Parents should supervise children when they are using a computer and also learn how to monitor computers for sites visited. They should set limits of how much time children can spend in front of screens (television, computers, video games, etc.) because technology use can be very addictive. Parents need to talk to their children to remind them not to give personal information on any site and to encourage them to only chat with people they know in person (i.e. get their username in person, then chat). Remind children and teens that if anything on the computer or phone makes them feel upset, they can talk to you about it. Remind kids to not post any words or pictures that they wouldn't want you to see. Parents can join social networking sites that their children use and become their "friend". Programs for filtering access can be added to your home computers.For Internet Filter Software reviews, click here-- we do not endorse any specific brand.

Many children now have cell phones that allow inappropriate texting or browsing. If your child must have a cell phone, be sure to set up rules that allow parental supervision, such as plugging it in each day in a public part of the house, so parents can browse numbers and messages on a routine and frequent basis.

As parents, we must ensure that our children are protected from materials that are not appropriate for their age groups. Many parents are surprised of how easy it is to find this material and how difficult it can be to protect against it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has set up a list of parental resources. To view this list, click here.

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