As part of our curriculum, we regularly teach children how to keep safe online, and our internet at school is heavily filtered to protect them. Online safety needs to be an integral part of all children’s digital journey, but it is sometimes hard for parents to balance this with family life! Spending an increasing amount of time online is also impacting on the mental health and wellbeing of our younger generations.
There are different types of inappropriate, concerning and illegal content online. From bullying, violent videos and ‘sexting’ to blackmail. We know that those that want to harm our children can use chat rooms, gaming and social media to befriend and groom children.
Children tell us that they can be quickly exposed to content they didn’t search out. Therefore, it’s vital not to blame children and keep calm if you are faced with this as a parent. The responsibility always lies with those that want to harm.
The risk of online harm differs by age and what they are doing online. So, finding age-appropriate ways to educate our children is essential.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) have some great animations to show younger children. Plus, they’re split into age brackets with key messages you can revisit as a parent
The following links will also take you to videos to watch with your child, to allow you to start the conversations about keeping safe online.
Watch with your child – ages 4 to 7 years – to learn about Esafety – Jessie and Friends
This series of three animations aims to give 4-7 year olds knowledge, skills and confidence to help them respond safely to risks they may encounter online.
Watch with your child – ages 7 to 11 years – to learn about Esafety – The adventures of Kara, Winston and the Smart Crew
These cartoons illustrate 5 e-safety SMART rules and include a real life SMART Crew of young people, who guide the cartoon characters in their quest, and help them make safe online decisions.
You may also want to take a look at the link below and think about the time your child spends on devices as this can impact on their mental health.
You may also need to take control of in-app purchases. Childnet’s family agreement has some great ideas for areas to focus on with your family. The UK Safer Internet Centre also has further information specifically relating to the use of games consoles.
Please see below for more information on how you can keep your child safe when they are online outside of school.