Bravehearts warning parents not to use Facebook to find babysitters.
The warning comes after a Mackay mum posted on a community Facebook site (not a babysitter site) asking for a babysitter and fast. Within 30 minutes the mother got a number of replies and despite the danger of a stranger looking after her children, she had a babysitter in less than an hour, reports Daily Mercury.
“Parents need to educate themselves about the dangers of posting online,” a Bravehearts representative said.
“Education is paramount and people need to be extra vigilant when sharing information on social media and public platforms, as we know that predators seek ways to access children online.
“Research shows that advances in online technologies continue to provide increased opportunities for child sex offenders, including grooming victims and parents, accessing child exploitation material and networking.”
A child care specialist, nanny and babysitter Mary Bruce agreed, saying parents needed to be careful in choosing who looked after their children.
“It is certainly amazing how many people are out there who are willing to help people, however parents need to choose someone who they trust or is recommended, because of the obvious dangers,” she said.
“A police check is as simple as a Blue Card, which all childcare workers need to be able to work in the industry,” she said.
“I know it is difficult if you need a babysitter fast, but leaving your child with a stranger with no history or credentials is alarming and at the very least it is dangerous.”
While it is easy to turn to Facebook for all kinds of things, it is so important to remember that it is also easy for a predator to lurk behind a screen.
Don’t put your child at risk.
Share your comments below.