At what age should a child have access to the Internet?
Before going any further, determine if your child is ready to go online. There’s no magic number to determine at what age your child will be ready for the internet, but according to Child Trends, 41% of children age 3 to 5 and 57% of children age 6 to 11 use the internet at home. And even if you do restrict access at home, by the time they reach kindergarten, they’ll likely start accessing it at school.
But just because your child can access the internet, doesn’t mean they need to access the entire internet. It’s important to research age-appropriate apps and sites to understand when your child may be ready to use them and to assess if your child is mature enough to do so.
Luckily, many sites and apps, especially social media sites, have age restrictions that can help guide you. Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube all require users to be at least 13 years old. But these are just guidelines: it’s up to you as a parent to determine if your 13-year-old is ready to access these apps and sites.
If you do decide your child is ready to set up accounts and apps, or if they’re ready for a phone or device of their own, there are a few ways to help keep them safe.