What can I do if my child sees content that’s offensive?

Talking to your kids about the sites they visit is important in helping protect them against the impact of viewing unsuitable content. Be aware of how they use the internet and discuss the sites and apps that are okay to explore and those that are not. You can teach your child strategies about how to deal with offensive material but be vigilant, especially if your child is prone to taking risks or is emotionally or psychologically vulnerable. You can support your child by:

  • teaching them to leave or close the page immediately or minimise the screen if they are worried about the material they have seen (hit Control-Alt-Delete if the site does not allow you to exit)
  • encouraging them to talk to a trusted adult if they have seen something online that makes them upset, disturbed or distressed
  • reassuring them that access to the internet will not be denied if they report seeing inappropriate content
  • reminding them not to open spam email or click on pop ups, prize offers or unfamiliar hyperlinks in websites
  • telling them not to respond if they are sent something inappropriate
  • keeping them connected to trusted friends and family online and offline.

You can also:

raising children.net.au logo and URL

cyberReport logo

Parentline logo

What can I do if my child is distressed or I need help?

If your child is distressed by what they have viewed, consider contacting the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or eHeadspace on 1800 650 890 for free private telephone and online counselling support specifically for young people.
If you require support the Parentline service in your state offers counselling, information and support services.

What can I do if I am concerned about the welfare of a child?

If you believe a child is in immediate danger, please contact the police by calling Triple Zero (000).

You can also make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers by calling the toll free number 1800 333 000.

The Australian Federal Police Child Protection Operations team investigates reports of suspicious online behaviour involving a child. Use their Child exploitation form to contact them.

Reports about illegal activity can be made to the ThinkUKnow or Virtual Global Taskforce websites.

Report online child sexual abuse material or other prohibited content to our cyberReport online complaint form.

An animated introduction exploring the risks of children coming across inappropriate content online and how to help manage what children access on line.

Inappropriate Content animation - Audio Description

Sharon's Vlog - Inappropriate content

Audio description version

Parent and presenter Sharon Hunter talks to parents about how to help children navigate the internet to reduce the likelihood of them accessing inappropriate violent or sexual content online.

Inappropriate Content - Sharon's vlog - Audio Description

Parent questions about how to protect children from harmful online content

Parent's guide to online safety

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