Children as young as 5 are beginning to use social networking sites.  As parents and carers we tell our children to share, but online is most definitely a different story!

Do you know what social media sites your child uses and who they are talking to?

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These are some of the sites that children have been known to use in school.  Children need to be SHARE AWARE. Questions for consideration:

  1. Who are they talking to online?
  2. Have they used their name or nickname in their profile?
  3. Have they got their photo visible?
  4. What security settings have they got in place?

The majority of social media networks have a minimum age of 13, due to the laws governing their use in the USA, where the majority of networks are based.  When on social media it is not just the content of their ‘friends’ profiles that they can see, but other advertising and connected sites that are not always child friendly.

The statistics are:

  • 50% of children aged 11 years and older have a social media account
  • 20% of children aged 8 – 11 years have a social media account
  • 5% of 5 – 7 year olds have a social media account
  • 25% of 11 years olds have seen something on social media that upset them.

The use, sometimes inappropriate, of social media networks can lead to cyber bullying and other problems stemming from their use often spill over into schools too.

For further advice on how to make you child safe when using social media please see the following links:

Share Aware (NSPCC)

Net Aware (NSPCC)