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First published Friday 22 June 2018.

Cyber safety can learn lessons from swimming pool safety

Rather than just banning and blocking, Professor Cross said it was vital parents created an on-going positive relationship around cyber behaviour and focus efforts on finding more ways to keep children and teens safe when immersed in the online environment.

A young boy using a smartphone

Similar tactics could be looked at to those already in place for swimming pool safety, including monitoring safety and teaching first aid and appropriate behaviour.

She said Institute cyberbullying research already suggested there may be a need for widespread mental health

 first aid training, as peers are often the first stop for help when young people are dealing with a negative online environment.

In the case of pool safety, older children and teens were not only given rules to follow but were also encouraged to learn first aid, so they can help others and themselves if they get into trouble in the pool, says Professor Cross.

For young children, fences are built to keep them out but they are also provided with swimming lessons and parents are encouraged to spend time with them in the pool to help them enjoy it in a safe and fun manner.

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