Children as young as six sexting during lockdown

Sexting among children has risen dramatically during lockdown, with some girls as young as six composing sexually explicit messages.

SafeToNet, a free phone safety app available via the website, said the number of messages children attempted to send had risen by 183 per cent.

The app analyses message content and stops harmful messages from being sent. It also offers guidance as a message is being composed.

Explicit messages

The figures also revealed a 55 per cent rise in the number of ‘sexts’ drafted during normal school hours.

Girls were more likely to try to send explicit messages than boys, and eleven-year-olds were the age group with the highest number sent, although SafeToNet found some girls as young as six were trying to send messages.

Thirteen-year-olds were the most likely among boys, and the youngest boy the app found to be sexting was aged nine.


SafeToNet founder Richard Pursey says it is imperative to protect children from other online harms too.

He said he had seen extremely graphic videos being circulated by children, including one of an eleven-year-old girl killing herself, and another of a man firing a shotgun into his head.

The father-of-four said children are being “scarred” by what they are viewing.

Also see:

More than one in three 13-year olds have been exposed to sexting

Police warn parents over their children’s sexting

5-year-old investigated by police for sexting

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