What children and teens post online – and how parents should monitor their kids’ internet habits – have been of major concern since the early days of the World Wide Web. And while issues like cyberbullying and sexting are still important to address, teens aren’t the only ones who sometimes make questionable decisions online. 

Researchers are now turning their attention toward parents, and ways that some moms’ and dads’ online posts about their children may inadvertently cause harm. Even something as innocent as sharing school photos on social media could have consequences you might not have considered.

In a study being presented today at a national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatrician Dr. Bahareh Keith and law professor Stacey Steinberg look at the potential ramifications of what parents are posting about their kids online. And they offer some guidance for how parents can share safely, and with their kids’ well-being in mind.

“Online sharing offers many positive benefits to both parents and children and to communities as a whole, but this message is all about finding a balance,” Steinberg told CBS News. “A parent’s right to share and the benefits of sharing is very important and by exploring this we can find a way to allow families to connect online but also to respect children’s privacy.”

After a thorough review of the medical and legal research, they found two main areas of concern when it comes to parents posting about their kids on social media.

The first issue is safety.

“Our guidelines include things to be cognizant of, such as using caution before sharing your child’s location or personal details to protect against identity theft and child predators, and also things that you can do in terms of protection and prevention,” Keith said.

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Something to consider before you post about your kids online
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