Navigation Links
'Sexting' by Kids Begets Fretting by Parents

More adults need to monitor cell phone use in era of sexually explicit messaging, experts say ,,

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and preteens spend hours sending text messages from their cell phones, but the content of some of those messages -- sexually explicit material, giving the messaging the nickname "sexting" -- is causing growing concern among parents, University of Michigan researchers report.

In fact, a new national survey found that 41 percent of parents are worried about the time their children spend sending text messages.

"Cell phones help kids stay in touch with family, but can also become a source of concern for parents," said Dr. Matthew Davis, an associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

"By setting clear limits and expectations on kids' phone use, and by finding out what content safeguards are available from cell phone companies, parents can try to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of cell phones," he added.

The poll found that 27 percent of preteens (9 to 12 years old) and 75 percent of teens (13 to 17) have their own cell phones, and 87 percent of them send and receive text messages and 23 percent have access to the Internet via their phones.

Many parents try to limit their children's texting and their ability to send and receive images on their phones, Davis said. But just 33 percent are trying to block images, compared with 55 percent who are trying to limit texting, he said.

"It's actually the images that can be the main problem in kids' sexting -- that is, sending sexually explicit photos, videos or text material via cell phone," Davis said. "Also, far fewer parents of teens are using these limits than parents of preteens."

The poll found that 45 percent of parents block images on phones for preteens, but only 29 percent for teens.

"Parents may not be protecting their kids as much as they can on their mobile phones," Davis said.

"For usually $5 per month, cell phone carriers can block the transmission of images for specific phone lines," he said. "Parents and other relatives thinking about getting a cell phone for a preteen or teen as a gift should think about adding image-blocking safeguards to calling plans."

But image-blocking strategies won't deal with text content, Davis noted. "Parents should establish rules and expectations with their teens and preteens in order to guard against sexting," he said.

Dr. Eugene R. Hershorin, chief of general pediatrics and medical director of the Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that "pediatricians have known this has been going on for a long time."

Parental monitoring is vital, he said. But parents not only need to be aware of the risks, "they need to be talking to their children about the risks," Hershorin said.

"Kids are doing this without seeing the consequences of their actions," he added. "There need to be rules set by parents, and consequences established."

More information

For more information on sexting, visit

SOURCES: Matthew Davis, M.D., associate professor, general pediatrics and internal medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Eugene R. Hershorin, M.D., chief, division of general pediatrics, and medical director, Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; Dec. 25, 2009, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Informational handout key to giving parents a better understanding of CT radiation risks
2. Many Parents Share Genetic Test Findings With Kids
3. Giving CPR Kits to Kids Nudges Parents to Learn
4. Psoriasis Cure Now offers Back to School Resources for Parents of Children with Psoriasis
5. Adult offspring of parents with PTSD have lower cortisol levels
6. Parents perceptions can hamper kids asthma care, study finds
7. Parents Worries Hamper Kids Asthma Treatment
8. Parents PTSD May Boost Stress in Offspring
9. UCLA/RAND study shows that many children of HIV-positive parents are not in their custody
10. Survey From The Partnership and MetLife Foundation Reveals Important Role Todays Grandparents Play in Teens Lives
11. Tips for Parents: Teaching Children to Resolve Conflicts
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Symposium Chairman, Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is pleased to announce that ... March 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The annual meeting, along with the Dallas Rhinoplasty ... around the world. , Key topics at this year's event will include discussions on ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Relay (, a ... announced today a significant contract that will provide its award-winning private messaging solution ... on the growing success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, which now has ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... NavaFit Inc. today announced the launch of ... train with, participate in local fitness & sporting events, and stay motivated. ... high medical costs drive us to get more serious about fitness and wellness, individuals ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... mortar of the body, including muscle, bone, and blood. But how much protein does ... more complicated than it might seem, according to the October 2015 issue of ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... Scientists in ... tissue biopsy in 18 patients with or without mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted ... , The doctors from PhenoPath Laboratories in Seattle and the University of British Columbia ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Data Science Automation (DSA), ... opening of a new branch office in the ... DSA,s presence in Europe . The decision ... increasing demand for local support of customers in the medical ... Ph.D., DSA,s UK Branch Manager. "We have had tremendous success ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- SeraCare Life Sciences, a leading partner to global in ... medicine business unit has launched its second product in ... (NGS)-based tumor profiling assays.  The Seraseq TM Solid ... mutations in key oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes as ... is offered at five additional allele frequencies. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Graduate students across ... and medical research, will soon have the opportunity ... care – the drug discovery and development process. ... has collaborated with 10 leaders from academic institutions ... Medicines: The Process of Drug Development."  Lilly will ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: