Poll: Web safety tops smoking, school violence in concerns over kids

Poll: Web safety tops smoking, school violence in concerns over kids
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U.S. adults increasingly rank web safety and sexting as leading health concerns for children as smartphones and Web use become ubiquitous, according to a poll out Monday. 

Fifty-one percent of adults ranked Internet safety as a big health concern for children, while 45 percent said the same about sexting — ranking them at the fourth- and sixth-largest concern respectively, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.


That is an increase from 2014, when Internet safety ranked eight and sexting ranked 13th. 

Problems like childhood obesity, bullying, drug abuse and child abuse ranked higher on the list. But Internet safety and sexting ranked as a larger concern than things like smoking, school violence, teen pregnancy and stress. 

Internet safety is the fourth-biggest health concern cited by white adults. Hispanic adults rank it as the sixth-largest problem, while black adults rank it at No. 9. With sexting, white adults rank it as No. 6, Hispanic adults rank it at No. 7, and it did not rank in the top 10 among black adults. 

A separate Pew Research poll released last week found 57 percent of teens had made friends online and 55 percent text with their friends daily. The poll also found 76 percent of teens use social media.

The online survey polled 1,982 U.S. adults in May and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Respondents were given a list of 25 different issues and asked whether they were a problem among children.