'Sharenting' could get your kids in trouble

KING 5

SEATTLE - Have you ever heard of 'Sharenting?'

Sharenting is slang for parenting and sharing, and more pediatricians are getting involved with what information parents are sharing online about their children.

Of course, we all know the web can be a dangerous place for your kids. What you might not realize is that there's growing concern parents are contributing to that dangerous space.

"I think as everyone's use of social media is exploding and expanding, we're just coming across things we never had to worry about before," said Dr. Elizabeth Meade, Chief of Pediatrics at Swedish Hospital.

Pediatricians are now being tasked with helping parents keep their kids safe and healthy online. What parents post online could not only impact their immediate safety, it could affect them getting insurance or even a job years later.

"I think it's really important for parents to be aware at any age because we used to talk about it a lot with older kids when they started getting on social media themselves," said Meade. "Now we are really recognizing that we have to be thoughtful of what parents are putting on social media about the younger children."

Here are some tips: don't put your child's full name or birthdate online. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out your child's first and middle names, but it could also set up your child for becoming a victim of identity theft.

Don't list your child's health condition online. It seems like common sense, but even a simple story could end up costing a child well into adulthood.

And don't forget that your pictures can be stolen at any time. They can be downloaded and reshared on predator sites. This is what doctors call being digitally kidnapped.

Finally, you can also set up a Google alert that notifies you if someone posts something about your child.

Dr. Meade says a lot of parents are pretty happy with what they're doing on social media, but there is a growing number of people who want guidance.

"Rather than think about how much is too much, I think it's important to talk about what the content is," said Meade.

© 2017 KING-TV


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