Growing concern around child online safety

Australia’s only national 24/7 counselling service, Kids Helpline, has recently expressed concern over graphic images of school-aged children being posted and shared online.

Data has reportedly revealed that Kids Helpline’s tip sheets targeted at teens and young adults on sexting received over 40,000-page views in the first half of this year, making sexting the most popular topic on the site.

“Young people’s understanding of the consequences of oversharing explicit images is low or they may think they’re the exception and nothing bad will happen to them,” said yourtown/Kids Helpline CEO, Tracy Adams.

“Teens are telling us that a sexting episode can be one of the hardest challenges to raise with their parents,” she added. “Through early education around cyber-safety kids are given the tools to enable them to talk about this issue with parents or teachers.”

According to Ms Adams, issues such as a damaged reputation resulting from sharing explicit images online may lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Kids Helpline provides young people – specifically children and young people aged five to 25 years – support and counselling during tough times.