TIME Research

Think Twice Before Posting About Your Kid Online, Pediatricians Say

New study will urge parents to be more cautious about putting up photos and posts

More than 90% of two-year-olds already have a presence online, and about one-third first appear within their first 24 hours of life. Now pediatricians are to warn that parents should be more careful about how often—and what— they post about their children online.

A new study into the issue, which will be presented Friday at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2016 National Conference & Exhibition, will recommend that parents often need to be more careful about protecting the online identities of their children, becoming familiar with the privacy policies of the websites they post on and never sharing their child’s location in a post.

The authors will suggest that parents should give their children some agency over their social media identity by giving the kids “veto power” over photos and other posts about them.

“Parents often consider how to best protect children while the child is using the internet,” said Bahareh Keith, director of the pediatric global health track and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. “However, parents–including myself, initially–don’t always consider how their own use of social media may affect their children’s well-being.”

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