Psychologist Gives Her Take After Children’s Video is Found With Suicide Instructions
She says it's important to talk to children about risky content on the internet
You may think platforms like YouTube Kids are safe for children, but you might want to think again.
A Florida mother recently found a video of a cartoon, and in the middle, it shows a man telling kids how to slit their wrists.
Therapists say kids have more access and spend more time with electronics, and depending on their developmental stage, might not be able to process what may be dangerous.
“From what I have been hearing with clients and the seriousness of things that have been reported to me, it is not surprising to me that something of this nature is on the internet and accessible to children,” Heather Siek, a therapist with The Village Family Service Center, said.
The videos have been removed from YouTube.
Siek says from the predator’s perspective, it’s a matter of reach and taking advantage of young people.
“Knowing that children are highly vulnerable and our reality today is that social media and electronics are a part of everyday life. It’s not going away. The thrill, the high vulnerability factor of luring in in those individuals,” she said.
Professionals say it’s important for parents to be aware of what their kids are doing online. However, not everything is what it seems on the surface.
“I’m hearing that children, teenagers are playing games, and then all of a sudden they’re in a chat room or people are talking to them online, they don’t know how they got into that chat room,” she said.
If children have been exposed to harmful videos, she says parents should have conversations with their kids about staying away from risky content on the internet.
“Don’t get so nervous or scared about that and not talk about it. It’s very important to talk about what occurred, to address how to not go to them in the future if they ever see anything like this, focus a lot on safety with usage of electronics,” she said.
According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between ages 10 and 24.