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How do you talk to your 6-year-old about porn?

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Kids are viewing porn as young as 6, and head teachers in the U.K. say they've got to learn about the dangers of online smut as soon as they start using the Internet. 

So how do you talk to your 6-year-old about porn?

"There isn't an easy answer, but as soon as children are getting access to this, it's time to begin the conversation," said Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), according to the BBC

One teacher discussed a boy discovering explicit images when researching the North Pole. 

"Children as young as 3—nursery-age children—access computers," said Stephen Watkins, head teacher of Millfield School in Leeds. "If they see something that shouldn't be there, they should know to go and tell an adult."

Watkins also warned against parents setting up Facebook accounts for youngsters, with the possibility that they might access illicit material. He claimed that of the 33 kids aged 10 and 11 in his school's top grade, he found out 24 are already on Facebook and had written to those children's parents.

A researcher claimed earlier this year that 34 percent of U.K. 9- to 12-year-olds have Facebook profiles, despite the site being officially off-limits to those under 13. It's likely that even younger kids have Facebook accounts.

In a NAHT survey of 1,009 parents, 83 percent said students should learn about the dangers of porn in sex ed classes. 40 percent felt kids should learn this in early primary school (that is, between the ages of 5 and 8); a little over half felt it more prudent to approach the topic with teens. Around 90 percent believed any device with Internet access should automatically block porn.

A study published last week suggested children are watching porn online as young as the age of 6. Antivirus firm Bitdefender's report also claimed a quarter of kids use a social network by the age of 12, with 17 percent sharing to Twitter and Facebook by 10.

Making kids aware of the dangers of porn at an early age is one thing, but approaching the subject in school in a sensitive manner may be difficult. To articulate what pornography is to someone who's just learned to tie their own shoelaces cannot be a simple task.

Watkins advocated for dealing with issues in a "low-key" manner when they arise. Only there's often nothing low-key about porn.

Photo by whiteafrican/Flickr