You’ve probably heard of the term ‘grooming’ before. In essence, this is a process used by people with a sexual interest in children to attempt to engage them in sexual acts either over the internet or in person


Sadly, these people do attempt to make contact with children over the internet; this may be in social networking sites, chatrooms or games. They could be by pretending to be someone else, or showing an interest in them.

It is important that children understand that people like this exist and that they should never do anything online or offline that they are uncomfortable with.

Grooming is a process of manipulating a child to gain control over them; as a parent or carer you should be approachable so that if your child is concerned about something, they know they can talk to you.

If you are concerned about someone’s behaviour towards your child, you can report this directly to CEOP

Young people can report directly to CEOP; however, we strongly encourage children under the age of 11 to speak to an adult they trust if they come across anything that makes them feel uncomfortable – the adult should then report to CEOP or in an emergency, dial 999.


  • Talk to your child about online grooming. Explain how easy it can be to lie online and the reasons why an adult may wish to contact them. 
  • For primary age children talk to them about the topic in the context of stranger danger. Strangers are people you or they don’t know. In the online world there are strangers too and they must not talk privately with them or give out any personal information online. 
  • Talk about their online friends. Ask them to think carefully about who they chat and share information with. If they don’t know them in the real world they need to delete or limit what they share with them, for example not sharing their photos, videos or their locations. 
  • Let your child know that you are always there for support. Let them know that you understand how easy it can be to get into difficulties online. Get them to talk to you if anyone makes inappropriate/ sexual comments and ensure they know that, no matter what’s happened, you are there to help. 
  • Learn how to report any inappropriate contact made to your child online. This can be done via the ClickCEOP button at