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HHS HealthBeat (May 3, 2013)

Talking risky behavior

HHS HealthBeat: A girl browses on her computer.

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A Parent’s Guide

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

What’s your teen doing online? What are their privacy settings? The more parents know and the more they talk to their children about it, the better. A study looking at the behavior of teenage girls online showed that their profile says a lot about them.

Dr. Jennie Noll is a professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“Parents need to be able to talk to their adolescents in a non-threatening and non-shaming way, so that they can keep the lines of communication open about the dangers of high risk behaviors on the internet.”

Noll suggests these conversations start earlier, because kids jump online at younger ages.

Her research showed that parental control devices did nothing, but being involved with a child’s online presence proved key.

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: May 2, 2013