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Parents Warned About Websites
Parents in East Kilbride have been warned about the risks of the internet after websites were named as containing explicit material.
Figures collected by the NSPCC show 50 per cent of school children admit they’ve seen sexual, violent and other adult material on social media sites, apps and games.
Youngsters revealed that sites Sickipedia, Chatroulette, Tumblr, Omegle, Ask.fm, and Yik Yak were noted by the majority of youngsters as containing explicit material.
The poll taken as part of the Net Aware guide produced by the NSPCC and mobile company O2 also noted that 78 per cent of children reported that they had joined social media sites before reaching the age of 13.
Over 1700 children and young people as well as 500 parents and adults were polled as part of the survey. Anthony Brown, NSPCC schools service area co-ordinator in South Lanarkshire, has taken his talks around schools in East Kilbride, talking to hundreds of children in the area.
He described the stats as “shocking”, urging parents to become more vigilant of what their kids view on the internet.
Mr Brown said: “The question is how many parents are aware of the fact, how many realise their children could be logging on and seeing inappropriate pictures at sites such as Sickipedia?
“Worryingly, the research has shown that children were more likely than their parents to report seeing harmful content.
“The NSPCC also discovered 78 per cent of children reported that they had joined social media sites before reaching the age of 13, despite many sites insisting younger children should not have an account.
“In a world where an increasing amount of our time is spent online, it is only right parents should get the chance to learn more about keeping their youngsters safe on the web.”
The co-ordinator also feels that although there have been steps to talk to thousands of children across South Lanarkshire, that more has to be done in the home environment.
“Since 2011 the NSPCC’s schools service has been speaking directly to primary-age children in South Lanarkshire about all forms of abuse, including online, teaching them how to stay happy and safe,” he added.
“Despite repeated calls for improvements in online safety, the Net Aware results have highlighted the scale with which children and young people are being exposed to inappropriate content on social media.
“It is vital that parents sit down together with their children regularly to talk about which social media sites they are using, and how to get help if they need it.”