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Safety Tips by Age - 2-4-Year-Olds

Many pre-schoolers are already active computer users. Recent U.S. studies show that a quarter of kids under 6 use a computer several times a week or more, and according to a 2009 survey, a large majority of 2 to 5 year-olds play video games.

Parents and older siblings can take pre-schoolers on the Internet, visit Web sites and play online games. At this age, adults have an important role to play in teaching safe Internet use, protecting their children from aggressive commercial Web sites, and monitoring their reactions to online material.


2-4-Year-Olds:

  • will accept media content at face value
  • don't have the critical thinking skills to be online alone
  • may be frightened by media images, both real and fictional
  • may be frightened by realistic portrayals of violence, threats or dangers
  • risk moving from appropriate to inappropriate sites through hyperlinks

Safety tips

  • Always sit with your kids at this age when they're online.
  • Create a personalized online environment for your kids by "bookmarking" a list of acceptable sites.
  • Choose good quality non-commercial Web sites for your children (thus avoiding the “nag factor” that marketers cultivate on these sites).
  • Use kid-friendly search engines or ones with parental controls.
  • Investigate Internet-filtering tools as a complement – not a replacement – for parental supervision.
  • Start teaching your children about privacy. Have them use an online nickname if a site encourages them to submit their names to "personalize" the Web content.
  • All family members should act as role models for children's use of the Internet.
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