Talk about sexting when you talk about healthy relationships, self-esteem, peer pressure, and sex. Try these questions to start talking:
Contact the site(s) where the image has been posted and ask for it to be removed. Include this information:
You or your child can report this to Canada’s tip line for online sexual exploitation of children at
Pictures and messages that were considered private can be shared. Once in cyberspace, it can be hard to control who sees them or have them deleted.
The sharing of sexts can have negative effects on self-image, mental health, and relationships.
Creating sexual pictures of anyone younger than 18 years old (including yourself) is considered child pornography. This is against the law.
Sharing sexts not intended for others may be considered
cyberbullying and may be against the law (e.g., child pornography, criminal harassment, luring a child, and uttering threats).
It is illegal to:
There are also instances when younger children send nude or semi-nude photos, thinking it’s silly or funny. This should be addressed differently than sexting as it is not necessarily intended to be sexual. Younger kids don’t understand that once in cyberspace, it can be hard to control who sees them or have them deleted. You can help your child develop empathy and help them to understand privacy and online safety.
If your child has sent this kind of photo:
Even with internet filters and restrictions, pornography is accessible to your child, intentionally and unintentionally. It is important to talk to your child about pornography. Just like sexual health, talking to your child early and often can help them make informed decisions.
As they grow, children learn that when people get hurt on TV, they are just acting or pretending to be hurt. Framing pornography as a performance helps your child understand that what they’re seeing isn’t real. Knowing that it’s a performance will let children know that pornography can represent unrealistic and unhealthy sexuality (and sexual assault, sexual abuse and physical abuse in some cases), and it is not showing them real intimacy or healthy relationships.
For more information go to
Teaching Sexual Health or you can call the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Current as of: October 21, 2019
Author: Sexual and Reproductive Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.