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Ask children before you ‘Sharent’

Next time you take a photograph of your child or young relative and automatically place it on social media with a commentary about the adventures you are having… Stop and think… How do children feel about this? Ask them for permission! This is what is known as ‘sharenting’. Sarkardi A et al. (J Paediatr Child Health 2020;56:981–3) have asked 68 children aged 4–15 years to complete an anonymous pictorial online Likert scale, questionnaire. Surprisingly children were generally quite negative towards sharenting. Most acceptable was sending photos to a relative and least acceptable was posting photos of the child on social media without asking. There was a statistically significant difference in score based on age with stepwise increasing scores across the age groups 4–6, 7–9, 10–11 and 12–15 year olds, indicating that the older the children, the more acceptable they thought it was to take a photo without permission. The 4–6 year olds showed significantly lower scores compared with all other age groups. This suggests that the youngest children thought it least acceptable to take a photo without permission, contrary to what many parents might believe. …

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