Study: Posting Online About Your Children Could Be Harmful

Kids can be cute and funny, but new data suggests parents should think twice before posting all about them online. Pediatrician Bahareh Keith presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2016 National Conference & Exhibition recently, and noted that 92 percent of two-year-olds in the U.S. have an online presence, and about one-third of them make their first appearance on social media sites within the first 24 hours of life. He adds, “We must all consider how our online actions affect our children’s well-being, both today and long into the future.” Study authors encourage pediatricians to advocate for increased awareness among parents to protect their child’s online identity, and adds, “Untangling the parent’s right to share his or her own story and the child’s right to enter adulthood free to create his or her own digital footprint is a daunting task.” The authors propose public health based, best-practice guidelines that include encouraging parents to familiarize themselves with the privacy policies of the sites they use, to post anonymously if they choose to share about their children’s behavioral struggles, and to give their child “veto power” over online disclosures. (EurekAlert!