When you gift a device that can access the internet, you’re not just gifting the device itself: you’re giving a portal to the entire online world. And while that includes all the fun bits, like chatting with friends and finding new favourite games, it also comes with a whole host of potential safeguarding risks.
In the offline world, we teach children and young people how to be safe. We show them how to cross the road carefully, we talk to them about stranger danger, not to touch hot things and what to do in an emergency.
When children and young people are introduced to new devices and given access to the online world, those same safeguarding principles should be applied – and prioritised. Just as you wouldn’t drop your child off at the playground unsupervised on their first trip there, so too should first encounters with online spaces be accompanied and guided.