Internet Safety for Toddlers and Young Children
As we have discussed in the past, the World Wide Web is a very valuable resource for the entertainment and education of our intrepid little learners. However, it’s essential for us to remember that for all the good things we are able to access via the internet, there are also many bad things or things that are simply inappropriate for young children. Luckily there is also lots of advice about how we can keep our children safe online.
Young children are becoming increasingly more IT minded and are often more than capable of operating mobile phones, tablets and laptops to access their favourite children’s content.
We need to make sure that our children are browsing these devices safely and that young children can only access the games and apps which we have checked and deemed as age-appropriate.
The safety risks associated with children using the internet are sometimes classified as the 4 ‘C’s of Online Safety. These are risks associated with inappropriate content, contact, conduct, or commercialism. With very young children only using specific apps for learning or entertainment, we usually need to focus on ensuring that the content they can access on that device is safe and appropriate. Older children browsing the web or using any form of social media will need extra safety support.
Tips & Tricks for Ensuring Safe Content
- Use the parental controls to make the most of the safety features on any devices your child may have access to. Check privacy settings and disable any permissions that may allow your little one to access age-inappropriate or paid content.
- Before downloading and allowing your child to interact with any media, apps or games, ensure that the content is genuine and appropriate. Once you have checked you can bookmark that content for your little learner.
- Use search engines and content providers that are designed especially for young children.
- Be vigilant and keep an eye on what your child is playing or watching while on any device.
- Make some family rules to ensure that older siblings do not override any of these guidelines when watching things with younger ones. Also discuss which content is acceptable, and when and where devices can be used within the household.
- You are your child’s first teacher, so be a good role model. Show your child how to follow safe internet practices and follow the family/household rules in front of your child to set a great example.
- Don’t forget to tell grandparents or other caregivers to apply the same rules and regulations to any devices that your child will have access to when in their care.
- Make sure your child feels happy and confident to tell you about anything inappropriate or upsetting that they see online, or anywhere else. If your child knows that they will not be punished for something they have accidentally seen, then it’s far more likely that they will tell you about any bad online experience.
Even when all your safety plans are covered don’t forget to encourage time away from screens and devices too. Our Cherry Bridge Station centres in New South Wales promise a consistent plan of play filled education that encourages everything good about non-screen time! We run age-appropriate educational programs, separate education rooms for each age group, healthy and nutritious meals, qualified and dedicated educators, and we’re child benefit approved too.