As you are no doubt aware, children with special educational needs are potentially at a higher risk of being influenced when online. As part of our curriculum we do teach children about keeping themselves and other safe on online/using mobile phones/being safe and respectful to each other. However, when pupils are not in school it is impossible to monitor what is going on.
Pupils using social media and messaging apps - These applications are all designated for use by children aged above 13 years and some are age 16+. If your child is using these sites, they are under age. As a parent/carer, if you are allowing your child to use such apps then you are NOT safeguarding them and are potentially putting them at risk. Most of these sites require a date of birth or a tick box to confirm you are of a certain age.
Below is information/useful links to help you to keep your child safe.
This can allow you to:
- Set time limits for how long your child can use a particular app.
- See a history of what apps are being used
- Be notified when your child tries to install an app, so you can look at it first to see if it is appropriate
- Track your child’s location
- Read and block texts
- Set timers to cut off after a certain amount of time
- Lock the phone at certain times – so at night or during the day (except for emergency use)
- Set up keywords that may be of concern and receive alerts
- Track and block calls
Parents Guide to Privacy Settings
Specific site/app information.
- Snapchat - What parents needs to know
- Rodblox or Snapchat and being exposed to 'The Game'.
It is really important that you are aware of what your children are accessing online. Snapchat and Rodblox should NOT be accessed by children under the age of 13 years old. However, if you have older children please read this. We have received information about 'The Game' which encourages children to self harm. Please see below.
What is ‘The Game’?
According to the Facebook post, ‘The Game’ is a list of self-harming actions for children and young people to complete, often in view of their family and friends. It is allegedly shared via Word document on Roblox and Snapchat.
Actions include self-harm prompts, such as cutting, overdosing, starving, and bruising. There are multiple references to “ending your own life” with one part stating the “only way to win [the game] is to die”. It also states different methods of suicide, as well a timeline for when to do so during the game.
Most notably, there is a reference to ‘players’ receiving an anonymous message in Snapchat that includes the word ‘dare’, with further self-harming instructions. It also encourages the person to involve or harm other people, such as siblings and friends. 10 ways to keep your child safe online over the summer. Click here.