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What to do if your child is 'sexting'

More than half of parents haven't spoken to their children about the risks of sexting, according to a new survey from the NSPCC.

It found that while two out of five parents fear their children will be involved in sexting, half of them do not know it's illegal for a child to take nude selfies

However, almost all 1,000 parents interviewed said they saw sexting as harmful - with a quarter saying their main concern was about their child losing control of a nude image of themselves.

What exactly is sexting?

"Sexting" is the exchange of self-generated sexually explicit images, through mobile picture messages or webcams over the internet. Young people may also call it cybersex, or sending a nudie or selfie. Most young people don't see sexting as a problem and are reluctant to talk to adults about it because they are afraid of being judged or having their phones taken away.

Advice from the NSPCC if your child is sexting

  • Stay calm and try not to get angry with the young person

  • Ask who the image has been sent to and where it has been shared

  • Encourage them to delete images from their phone or own social media accounts

  • Contact the site hosting the images of your child if they have been posted by someone else

  • Suggest your child contacts Childline, who can work with the Internet Watch Foundation to try and get images removed if they've been shared more widely

  • Discuss issues of consent and trust in healthy relationships or friendships

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