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Play School characters recruited to teach toddlers how to avoid internet predators

Image: Play School/ABC

Play School characters have been recruited to teach toddlers how to avoid internet predators.

Recognisable characters including Big Ted and Jemima will teach kids how to stay safe online in a new campaign aimed at preschoolers.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, praised the program, as figures revealed many parents are ignoring recommendations of no screen time for kids under two years of age.

A staggering 94 per cent of four-year-olds have access to an internet-connected device, while 42 per cent of kids under two have access to digital devices.

Ms Inman Grant said it’s important parents and kids understand the risks of communicating online.

“This is not like the TV of the past, a passive device, it’s an interconnected device and many popular games and educational apps that kids use today have chat functions, which means that predators can reach out to our children,” she told 3AW’s Ross and John.

The eSafety Commissioner said the Play School campaign is designed to help begin conversations about internet safety.

“We just want parents to start engaging with their kids and speaking to them early and often when they hand over a device,” she said.

“We’re trying to get across a few messages: Be safe, be kind, make good choices and ask for help.”

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