A Family Digital Safety Plan

Updated: Mar 18

Safety for children in our digital world is a concern many parents ask for help with. To be clear, the digital world includes things like smart TVs, video games, tablets, and phones. All of these devices can access the Internet, which opens a Pandora’s box of harmful content to children. However, learning how to use these devices safely is a skill kids need before they turn 18.

The average age a child is first exposed to pornography is 9.66 for girls and 9.95 for boys. (Bentley, Lacy - 2016 - Gender & Childhood Pornography Exposure, Addiction/Brain Science)That means half of all children are being exposed to pornography before they are even ten.However, kids are usually exposed to pornography by accident, not on purpose. Studies show that 62% or more of children are first exposed to pornography while doing homework or some other accidental reason. (British Board of Film Classification, August 2019) Here are a couple of recent quotes to demonstrate this:

Families say their kids were supposed to be using district-issued computers for schoolwork, but instead, kids were looking at pornography.

(Josh Rosenthal, Nov 24, 2020 - Fox 5 News, Washington DC, https://www.fox5dc.com/news/montgomery-county-students-exposed-to-porn-on-school-is-laptops)

One minute a child could be looking at their favorite toy [online] and the next thing you know there’s porn on the screen.”

(Niki Whitaker, executive director at the Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center, Jan 26, 2021 - https://www.wkrg.com/health/coronavirus/news-5-investigates-online-risks-children-face-with-more-screen-time-during-pandemic/)