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Blog - Keeping your children safe online

The Internet is a hugely valuable tool when it comes to sourcing information, researching and developing ideas, keeping in touch with friends and family, and also educating our children and young people. But unfortunately there is also a lot of inappropriate material readily available online that we would rather our children didn't have access to.

With children and toddlers becoming increasingly technically aware, with iPads, tablets, smartphones, laptops and game consoles and smart TVs available to children in many households, it is more important than ever for parents to ensure that appropriate controls are in place.

There are a number of tools that are available to parents to enable you to manage and block potentially inappropriate information across a number of platforms, including:

  • Home broadband and Wifi – your internet provider will have a filter which allows you to manage the content, with some offering different settings for each user

  • Games consoles – many consoles have internet access often with a chat function allowing them to interact with other players. Parental controls allow you to turn off the chat function and restrict games by age, and some offer different setting for each player.

  • Mobiles, tablets and computers – you can turn off in-app purchases, location settings and make use of wellbeing settings to reduce screen time.

  • Apps and online services – chat filters, privacy and content filters plus in-app purchases can be turned off.

  • Search engines – content filters can be used to ensure that only age-appropriate material can be viewed.

Whilst parental controls are useful, they do have their limits and are just one of the ways to help keep your child safe online. Setting good, strong passwords is a good starting point, remembering to amend parental controls as your child gets older, but also encouraging your child to tell you if they have seen something online which made them feel uncomfortable or concerned is key.

Although there are currently no official guidelines, NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence) recommend a limit of no more than two hours per day for all children due to potential links with increased screen time and obesity, diabetes, disrupted sleep and high blood pressure. It is important to also note here that high quality content and apps are available, which aim to help toddlers with language development, shape and colour recognition, plus numeracy and literacy.

If you have any questions about the above, or would like more information about St Petroc's Early Years, please visit, email or call 01288 389832.



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