Interests & Risks

Children 5–7 years of age

At this stage of development, children enjoy fun activities and seek more independence. They think in the here and now and can follow simple rules enforced by adults. They are likely to engage in:

Online gaming

The interactive components of online games make them a lot of fun and appealing for children. While children enjoy playing games online, it is important to make sure games are appropriate for your child’s age.

Children can easily be redirected to inappropriate content on other sites through the chat.

  • Know and explore the games your child wants to play online to determine if the game is age-appropriate. Considerations may include:
    • Is the game moderated?
    • Does the game contain age-appropriate content?
    • Is there an interactive (chat) component in the game? Is this an optional feature that can be turned off?
    • Are there other optional features that can be turned off for safety?
    • Are there advertisements in the game that can redirect kids to other sites?
  • Review the game guidelines. Can you report any inappropriate activity?
  • Create your child’s login and password information. A parent or safe adult should always supervise the online activities of children this age.
  • Teach your child to check with you before playing new games or sharing any information online.
  • Just as you would explain guidelines for playing games offline, the same should be done for games played online.
  • Teach your child that if someone they don’t know sends them an attachment or link, not to click on it.
  • Teach your child not to click on advertisements in the game – this may require you to teach them what they can click on (parts of the game) and what they shouldn’t click on (advertisements).
  • Tell your child that if they come across something or someone while playing an online game that makes them feel uncomfortable, to tell you about it. Let them know it is not their fault if that happens.

Search engines

Children can go online and find fun games to play and videos to watch. While they now have fun, informative and educational content at their fingertips, there are considerations for making the experience a positive one.

Despite many safety features, children can still happen upon content that is inappropriate for them to see.

  • Before visiting a website with your child, explore the site to determine if it is age-appropriate.
  • Use filtering options available on many search engines to help moderate the search results that appear. While not 100 per cent effective, it helps to avoid violent and adult content.
  • Assist your child in searching for topics they are interested in. A parent or safe adult should always supervise the online activities of children this age.
  • Set limits on the amount of time your child spends online.
  • Teach your child to check with you first before searching for something online.
  • Tell your child that if they come across something while online that makes them feel uncomfortable, to tell you about it.

Video-sharing sites

Watching videos online is very popular with children. The accessibility to information and entertainment is wonderful, but children can accidentally be exposed to inappropriate content as they select different videos to watch.

Many video-sharing sites do not provide the option to set parental controls or restrict what content children can view.

  • Preview any videos your child wants to watch before letting your child watch them to ensure they are age-appropriate.
  • Assist your child in searching for videos they are interested in. A parent or safe adult should always supervise the online activities of children this age.
  • Set limits on the amount of time your child spends watching videos, and make sure you enforce them.
  • Model appropriate use of video-sharing sites, making sure not to record or send pictures without consent.
  • Teach your child to check with you first before searching for videos on video-sharing sites.
  • Tell your child that if they come across something while online that makes them feel uncomfortable, to tell you about it.

For more information, see Additional Information.