The NSPCC provide advice and support in regards to your children using the internet.
nspcc.org.uk/shareaware is a site which has great resources for you to help keep your child safe on social networks, apps and games.
Net Aware is an online tool that informs parents about the most popular sites, app and games that children use. You can also sign up to their Online safety Newsletter to keep up with digital trends.
net-aware.org.uk or download the free Net Aware App
You can also sign up to the NSPCC and O2 six weekly Ice Breaker emails, which are packed with advice and tools to help you talk to your children about staying safe online. Find out more at nspcc.o2.co.uk
Children are using social media to share their lives with friends, family and sometimes people they don't know. It's important they understand how to safe online. Click on the image to go to this useful website with tips that can help you have open and honest conversations with children about using social media, from posting selfies to chatting and online gaming.
Online Safeguarding Resources
Parent Info is a comprehensive, free resource for schools covering a range of safeguarding topics and information about apps and when they are updated etc. The content is updated by CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre). Please click the image to follow the link.
We are aware that a lot of our children are talking about playing on a game called Fortnite. Here is some information for you below so that you are aware as parents, what the game is about: -
What is Fortnite all about?: It offers a knife-edge gun battle that requires practice, skill, teamwork and fast reactions, but in the form of a cartoon. The challenge for parents is to mitigate risks and maximise benefits from Fortnite. Parents need to be aware of the amount of screen time, stranger chat, rage at losing and escalating costs of in-app purchases
What is the age rating for Fortnite? : In the UK the Video Standards council rate Fortnite as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence. I-Tunes rates the game only suitable for children 12+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence and Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information. As parents, you know your children better than any rating body and can use this information to make an informed decision.
Monitoring who they are talking to? : Along with suitability, it’s worth checking the online communication settings on the game to ensure children aren’t talking to strangers.
Managing in-app purchase on the game: - The game has considerable in-app purchases that you need to be aware of as well, and set up passwords on credit cards associated with the system.
Setting time limits on Fortnite: - Finally, it’s important to have some limits in terms of play time for the game. This is something you can agree with your child once you understand how the game works.
Safeguarding Update: Squid Game
October 8th, 2021
Due to the popularity of Netflix’s most recent viral show, Squid Game, our online safety experts have received several questions about it from concerned parents, carers, and teachers. We decided to release a Safeguarding Update that highlights the main risks and concerns our experts found when researching the show.
What is Squid Game?
Squid Game is a South Korean television series streaming on Netflix. The plot centres on a group of adult debtors, thieves, and gamblers competing against each other in a series of childhood games for a grand cash prize. However, there is a dark twist to these seemingly innocent games – losing competitors are violently killed off in ways that grow more twisted as the games grow more intense.
Since its release in September 2021, Squid Game has become number one across 90 different countries in Netflix’s ranking of most watched TV shows. It has been number one in the UK for thirteen consecutive days since its release.
Harmful Content in the Show
Currently, Squid Game has a rating of 15+ as the visual content includes high levels of gore, death, violence, and physical assault. It also has graphic depictions of suicide, murder, and sexual assault.
Children and young people are likely to know about the show via word of mouth and because it is so popular on social media. They may be unaware of the extent of gore, death, and violence the show contains. It also focuses on adult themes that are not appropriate for younger sensibilities. For young people who live with mental health issues, they may be triggered by some of the content.
The aesthetic of Squid Game, especially in promotional images and material, appears innocent and childlike. This is to provide a clash with the excessively violent content that is meant to be jarring and unsettling to viewers.
Parents and carers should be aware that video content from this show is found on TikTok, which could also increase their interest in watching the show. Remember: even if you restrict the young person in your care from watching Squid Game, they may be able to access content on other social media platforms.
The Risks of Rough Play
Due to the overwhelming popularity of Squid Game and its challenge-based plot, many of the themes within the show have become popular on social media platforms. Depictions of these games have started to become popular as people film themselves recreating them – without the murderous outcome. The most popular are:
Players attempt to reach a spot in the allotted time in a stop-start fashion. A particular image from the show being recreated from the show involves the giant doll-like robot that runs this game and monitors any movement.
Players must cut out one of four shapes in a thin disc of honeycomb using a needle without breaking the shape. This has become popular on TikTok.
It’s unlikely that children and young people would have the means to entirely recreate the games featured in the show. A lot of them include specialised weapons, sets, and equipment
However, there is a concern that a child or young person may unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way by trying to recreate a small portion of the games. Some reports have seen children using physical violence in the playground to ‘punish’ losers as a substitute for the player losing their life. If a child attempts to recreate the Honeycomb Game, there is a risk of burns from caramelised sugar if they attempt to make the honeycomb themselves. Some users have also tried heating sharp objects over flames like characters in the show to make cutting an image out of honeycomb easier.
Written specifically for schools and parents, this e-safety magazine is shared termly to keep school staff and parents up to date with the latest issues, risks, advice, guidance and opinion with a view to enjoying the wonders of technology – safely! Further information can be found by clicking the image.