Parents warned against online oversharing of baby photographs

Paediatrics conference encourages responsible and thoughtful sharing

Ninety-two per cent of two-year-olds in the United States have a social media presence and about one-third of newborns have already made an appearance on platforms like Facebook or Instagram within the first 24 hours of their life.

As excited as parents are about posting photos of their bundle of joy on social media, this kind of online sharing comes with new and often unanticipated risks, according to scientists at a recent American Academy of Pediatrics conference.

“Parents often consider how to best protect children while the child is using the internet,” says paediatrician Dr Bahareh Keith. “However, parents – including myself, initially – don’t always consider how their own use of social media may affect their children’s well-being.”

Responsible and thoughtful sharing were the watchwords of the day, with a warning to parents that any information shared can be repeatedly reshared; unbeknownst to the original poster, photos could end up in hands of paedophiles or identify thieves. Parents were advised to familiarise themselves with the privacy policies of all social media sites they used.

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