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Most Parents use social media to tackle child health

A Recent Survey shows most parents use the social media to discuss child health and parenting to their children. The survey comes from University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children.
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Over 50% of mothers and 30% of fathers tackles child health and parenting on social media, and the majority say using social media helps them learn what not to do when parenting, according to results from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“Social media offers ways to seek and share advice about parenting challenges and to help friends and relatives stay in touch with their child,” study researcher Sarah J. Clark, MPH, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues wrote. “At the same time, a growing awareness of Internet safety issues has prompted questions about whether this so-called ‘sharenting’ may lead to breaches of private information that could put children at risk.”

In November 2014, Clark and colleagues polled a nationally representative sample of parents of children aged 0 to 4 years about benefits and concerns of sharing parenting information on social media. Responses from 569 parents aged 18 years and older were assessed.

The majority of respondents (84% of mothers, 70% of fathers) reported using Facebook, online forums, blogs and other social media. Fifty-six percent of mothers said they discussed child health and parenting topics vs. 34% of fathers. The most common topics discussed were getting children to sleep, nutrition/eating tips, discipline, day care/preschool and behavior problems.

When asked about the value of social media, 72% of respondents said social media made them feel like they were not alone, 70% reported it was useful for learning what not to do, 67% said they could get advice from more experienced parents, and 62% said it reduced their worrying.

Oversharing was a common concern, and 74% of parents reported they knew another parent who shared too much information about a child on social media, including embarrassing information (56%), personal information that may identify a child’s location (51%) or inappropriate photos of children (27%).

“These networks bring parents together in ways that were not possible before, allowing them to commiserate, trade tips and advice, share pride for milestones and reassure one another that they’re not alone,” Clark said in a press release. “However, there’s potential for the line between sharing and oversharing to get blurred. Parents may share information that their child finds embarrassing or too personal when they are older but once it is out there, it is hard to undo.

“Parents are responsible for their child’s privacy and need to be thoughtful about how much they share on social media so they can enjoy the benefits of camaraderie but also protect their children’s privacy today and in the future.”

About Robert Nicholls

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