young children (6-10)

Early use of digital technology has been shown to improve language skills and promote children’s social development and creativity. But it’s not without risks for young children, who may come across inappropriate content or begin to copy what older children do online.

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Habits

children under 10 go online ¹

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Interests

of 7-11’s use some form of online communication ²

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Concerns

of 7-11’s said mean comments stop them enjoying time online ³


Learn e-safety tips with our interactive video

This video helps you understand what you can do to give young children the best experience of going online. The clickable links will lead you to more information.

Internet safety checklist for young children

Agree boundaries

Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.

Explore together

The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.

Put yourself in control

Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.

Use airplane mode

Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.

Stay involved

Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.

Talk to siblings

It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.

Search safely

Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.

Check if it’s suitable

The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram. Although sites aimed at under-10s like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin also have social networking elements.


Learn about what young children might be doing online


What issues might affect young children?

  1. Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2014) p.48, Figure 22
  2. Childnet, Have Your Say (Feb 2013)
  3. Childnet, Have Your Say (Feb 2013)