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This month at the Kid Clinic: Do you know what apps are on your child's phone?

This month at the Kid Clinic: Do you know what apps are on your child's phone?

Almost everyone uses social media. In fact, a lot of us keep in touch with family and friends through various popular social media applications (apps) like Facebook. However, as a parent, do you know what apps are on your child's phone and who they are chatting with?

Facebook and Pinterest are very well-known social media sites and apps, but have you ever heard of Poof, Whisper or Kik messenger? Poof is an application that allows the users to make apps disappear on their phone or mobile device. This can allow a user, perhaps a child, to hide questionable or even harmful applications from parents. Whisper is an anonymous confession app which can be used by cyber bullies. Users can post derogatory text about kids who are in their class without anyone knowing who they are. Kik messenger is an instant messaging app where users can exchange videos, pictures, and texts. It is common for users to use this as a "sexting" app.

Snapchat is another highly common application that many use. This app allows a user to send a photo or video to someone who is on their friend list and they can choose how long someone can view the picture. This application is also known as a "sexting" app. Yik Yak is another application that can be used to bully others. A user of this app can post texts that can be viewed by 500 users who are closest to the person writing the text determined by GPS tracking in their phone.

If your child has any of these applications on their phone, it does not mean that they are using them inappropriately. It is important to talk to your children and understand what they are doing when they are using their smartphone, and know who to whom your child is sending messages or pictures. Your child may be sending messages to inappropriate people or they may the one who is getting bombarded with inappropriate texts, pictures, messages sent by other children.

Social media is a powerful tool to connect with the world, but just like friends in the real world, find out who is in your child's social media circle and teach them how to stay safe.

The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic offering medical care and counseling services for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings over the age of 2. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic.

The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District.