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Caroline Dennigan

Caroline Dennigan Blog Posts
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What's the right age for your child's first email account?


What age is considered appropriate for a child to have their own email account? 

A growing number of schools do offer pupils school e-mail accounts. Not usually in infant school, but as they move through the education system into junior school pupils are generally assigned a school e-mail address and password. Teachers can monitor and scan for bad language and harmful content. Any e-mail that causes concern will be forwarded to the designated teacher. 

This works because it's an email within an 'enclosed network'. Using email across the entire worldwide web is a different matter!

It's only natural that with so much exposure to technology from a young age, your child will eventually want their very own e-mail account. As a parent, you will want to make sensible and informed decisions. With that in mind, it's important to think about the maturity of your child before letting them have their own e-mail address. Ensure your child is aware that having their own e-mail account comes with responsibility. 

 The downside of owning an e-mail account is spam! Most spam is cleverly written and fools a lot of adults into clicking links which can be a virus or lead to private information being shared - worse still - inappropriate content!

Is your child going to be vulnerable if they see a free offer and click through or the 'wrong' type of spam messages? Safety is going to be a paramount concern and there are a number of businesses offering e-mails services for children. The advantages of a child safe e-mail account include being able to monitor who your child is contacting and vice versa, the ability to block, set time restrictions, and filter out inappropriate spam. Most child-friendly e-mail providers offer a free trial, after that it usually works out at a couple of pounds a month.

Did you know? There are minimum age requirements to own a Google account. Learn about the age restrictions for owning a Google account

You can create a Google account for children under the age of 13 using family link

A good email provider for children is - used successfully by Ash Tutors' owner, Geoff. There is a free version and a paid version, and emails can't go in or out without a parent moderating it first.

Food for thought. Does a child of 6 years old really need an e-mail account? Or perhaps it could be classed as just another technological skill to learn, in readiness for later on? These are questions all parents need to ask themselves, as sooner or later, your child will be exposed to them.

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