Protecting children from viral challenges

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AltaPointe Psychiatrist offers tips for parents on helping children avoid temptation of taking on challenges that may pose danger.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Internet challenges can be creepy. Some are risky like jumping in and out of a moving car. Others are downright dangerous like drinking boiling water.

As outrageous as they may be, some people cannot resist a temptation.

“Sometimes they try to post stuff and like get views and showing other people stuff and you know..let other people know they’re different..and try different things which can be dangerous”, said 18 year old Francisco Coates who says he has no desire to do viral challenges.

Even when challenges appear to be harmless fun, mental health experts say it’s important for parents to talk to children before they post videos of themselves online.

Dr. Christina Talerico/AltaPointe Psychiatrist
“Kids have gotten sneaky. There are certain apps like Snapchat where the messages disappear or you know there’s no record of them”, said AltaPointe Psychiatrist, Christina Talerico.

Dr. Talerico says parents need to be aware of apps on their children’s devices and their passwords.

“Yes, we have a rule in my house. If I don’t have the passwords to anything, you can’t have it, and you have to know your child if you’re child is not mature enough to handle..understand the responsibility of having certain apps..then they shouldn’t be allowed to use it.”

She adds, parents need to talk about internet challenges with their children, but do so in a non-confrontational way. For instance, don’t sit across from your child open eyes, face to face. Instead, ease into the conversation with them while doing an activity..like playing games or going for a walk.
That way your child will be more open with parents before doing something that could cause them harm.

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