Biggest worry about kids is cybersafety, survey of 2526 parents finds

On the eve of Safer Internet Day, latest research from leading children's health promotion charity Life Education has found keeping kids cybersafe is the top concern for Queensland parents.

PARENTAL CONCERN: What is your child doing on the internet? A survey has found that many parents are concerned about cybersafety for their children.

PARENTAL CONCERN: What is your child doing on the internet? A survey has found that many parents are concerned about cybersafety for their children.

The survey of 2526 parents of school-aged children, conducted by Life Education Queensland throughout 2019, revealed that cybersafety was the number one concern for parents followed by obesity, cyberbullying, smoking and mental health.

Parents were asked to rate their top concerns from a list of eight key issues which also included alcohol, illegal drugs and sexual health.

Life Education Queensland chief executive Michael Fawsitt said the fact that parents ranked cybersafety as a number one concern reflected the challenges many were experiencing when it came to helping children navigate an online world.

"The consistent feedback we receive from parents is that keeping kids safe online is a significant concern, and an area where parents sometimes feel their skills are lacking," Mr Fawsitt said.

"At Life Education, through our bCyberwise program, we're able to reach thousands of children each year with important messages on cybersafety, cyber ethics, keeping personal information safe online and strategies on how to handle bullying including cyberbullying.

"This is important, because parents frequently tell us that sometimes children are reluctant to hear health and safety messages at home, so having them reinforced by our experienced program educators, with the help of Healthy Harold, is a fun and informative way to empower kids with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe."

The parent survey will continue into 2020 in partnership with Techwell, giving parents the chance to win $4000 in technology prizes when they share feedback on the program via a five-minute survey.

Techwell general manager Lindsay Bell said the program was doing great work educating young people on how to be responsible digital citizens.

To be in the draw, parents (or anyone over 18) can complete the survey on the LEQ website at haroldsfamilycomp.org.au - explaining what their child learned during the Life Education program and/or their top issues in relation to children's health and wellbeing.

Prizes include a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 drawn each school term, while the major prize at the end of the competition includes a Microsoft Surface GO LTE 128/8GB.

Life Education Queensland is the state's largest provider of preventative health education to school children and has been active for 33 years.

It works with more than 800 schools and pre-schools and almost 10,000 Queensland teachers, with more than 230,000 Queensland students.