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Erin Monahan is an author and editor with over 25 years experience.
She has written on a variety of topics including celebrity interviews, health reporting and parenting.
Her work has appeared in daily newspapers and national magazines, including "Wondertime," and on websites such as
She was recently named one of the top writers in Pennsylvania. With all the good the Internet brings also comes some danger.
Monitoring your child's use of the Internet and keeping an open line of communication with your child about what he sees or with whom he chats can go far in helping him to avoid the dangers of chat rooms.
Children aren't the only people who are in chat rooms geared specifically towards children.
An article from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that one in five children aged 10 to 17 has been approached by a predator.
Predators will befriend your child, usually posing as another child or slightly older teen, and gain trust by behaving as an understanding and trusted friend.
Once trust is gained in the chat room, the predator will move the conversation to a private area or in person.
Chat rooms are a place where bullies can have free reign over potential victims while enjoying anonymity.
Bullies may start out as friends and then get your child to give her e-mail address, where the bullying can continue.
Or the bullying may occur via instant messaging or in the chat room itself.
It may occur on forums attached to the chat room, where bullies may post untrue and damaging information about your child.