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"everyone else is playing it"

With half term around the corner, I have been receiving lots of information for parents with regard to online safety. The following information is about Fortnite which I thought may be useful to you. What I like about it is that it is not scaremongering or encouraging parents to ban their child from using it. However, it offers a timely reminder that we, as parents, need to update ourselves about it in order to make an informed decision about whether we allow our children to access it or not. 

• Don't ban Fortnite (or any other game) because a newspaper headline said it's evil; at the same time, don't allow it because a friend said it's fine. Have a look and decide yourself (get your child to show you, or play together if you're feeling brave). If you're happy, fine; if not, it doesn't matter whether "everyone else is playing it".

• Fortnite's PEGI age rating is 12 ( = appropriate age, NOT skill level).

• Games don't go on for hours, but average 20-30 minutes. So if your child says they need hours and hours, they're wrong...

• One of the best ways to keep  children safe on games is to know what they are doing, so if you allow it, get them to play near you with the sound on (no headphones so you can hear the other players' comments)

• When you start, there's a 'Privacy' button - choose between Public (anyone in the world) / Friends / Private (invite only). It's easy to change. Make sure you have made the decision.

• The game is free, but there are lots of in-app purchases. Is your credit card attached to the account/device? Worth checking if your child could buy the £79 10,00 V-Bucks + 3,500 Bonus pack at a click. Click on a cheap one to see if there is a payment method attached.