12th April, 2021 10:16 am
Child Protection Scotland are urging parents and carers to proactively take steps to ensure children are safe online.
Many children and young people have been spending significantly more time online than usual during the pandemic and even more so now that it’s the Easter holidays.
As mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers are invaluable tools for educating and entertaining children.
However, this increase incurs a greater risk of exploitation and abuse according to Child Protection Scotland, making it more important than ever to protect children from internet-savvy online abusers.
Child Protection Scotland advise: “The key to helping keep your kids safe is to be curious.
“Be calm, friendly and chatty about what your children are doing online – ask them lots of questions about what they look at online and who they are talking to.
“And don’t just ask them just once, make it a habit to have a regular check in with them about their online lives.”
They encourage parents and carers to adopt the same attitude to their children’s online activity as they have in the real world.
“Just as you would ask your children about where they’re going when they go out, ask them about where they go online and who their online friends are,” the Child Protection Scotland website reads.
The key is to ask questions and engage children by asking them to teach you about platforms, apps, sites, and chatrooms they’re visiting.
Find out who their online friends are and talk to them about the danger of engaging with strangers online.
There are an array of valuable websites to find out more about protecting your children from online abuse, exploitation, and inappropriate content, including: Internet Matters, NSPCC, Net Aware, Thinkuknow, and UK Safer Internet Centre.
Child Protection Scotland encourage any parents or carers who are concerned that their child has been or is a victim of online abuse, to call Police Scotland on 101 or 999 for immediate threats.
Alternatively, you can make a report to the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection team.
Source: The Herald April 2021
Categorised in: News