When should you let your child have an Instagram account?

Social media can be fun and keeps people connected - but how old would your child have to be before you'd let them have their own Instagram account? We asked more than 1,427 parents, plus got expert advice from a kids' internet safety charity...

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As adults, lots of us sometimes spend a fair while looking through social media. And Instagram’s a really great way to see what friends are up to.

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And as our kids get older, there’s no doubt lots want to stay in touch with friends after the school day’s done, and at weekends, and Insta’s one way to do that.

But when’s the right, or appropriate, age for youngsters to start using the uber-popular photo-sharing and social networking app? 

What age does Instagram say kids can have their own account?

Instagram states quite clearly that children under 13 years of age should not have an account.

They have a useful help section for parents that’s worth a look if you think your child will soon be wanting to set up their own Insta.

What do parents say about letting their child have an Instagram account?

When we asked parents at what age they’d let their child have an Instagram account, the most popular answer were:

  • Over 12 years (42%)
  • Not sure (21%)
  • Never (17%)


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When we asked for further comments, lots of parents actually said they’d prefer to wait until their child was 16 before they’d let them to have their own Instagram account. 

Many also said they’d want to have access to the account by knowing the password their child had chosen.

One parent felt that of all the major social media platforms around, they reckon Insta is one of the better ones, saying: “The lesser evil of the social medias and probably most suited to kids if they are desperate.”

Another said it’s a difficult one to think about because, often, friends at school are using it – and so your child doesn’t want to be the odd one out by not having it: “Definitely not younger than 14, I don’t agree with kids below 16 having social media.

“However I know that they are under pressure to do so because everyone else has one – so it’s a hard decision.”

What do the experts say?

We got in touch with Childnet International on this one – a charity which works to make the internet as safe a place as possible for kids.

They reminded us that age limits exist on sites like Instagram because of privacy and safety. If someone is on there younger than they should be – i.e. if they provide a fake age to set up an account – they can lose some of the protection that’s offered to under 18s.

They also told us: “Young people also risk being exposed to content which is intended for older users when they use sites that are not designed for people their age.”

Childnet International has a blog all about social media age restrictions which you might find handy. 

Image: Getty Images

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