Teen Girls Meeting Strangers Online, Then In Person - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Teen Girls Meeting Strangers Online, Then In Person

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"Since it's around, they're on computers all the time, cell phones, smart phones and iPads. I wouldn't be surprised they could get away with that," said Doyle Johnson.

He has two daughters but says they wouldn't do what an online study found.

It revealed that 30 percent of teen girls have met someone in person, a stranger, who they initially met online.

The study, led by a professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati, followed girls 14- to 17-years-old for over a year. It monitored their on- and off-line behavior.

"I'm very fearful of it. My son is 10-years-old and just got an iPhone for Christmas and I fear him going online and chatting people up," said Tom McDonald who also has a daughter.

McDonald says social media is everywhere and parents have to be aware.

"I think it's about education and setting expectations for your kids so that you work with them and talk to them about the dangers of it," he said. "And you look at their phones. It's weird but I think it's the best prevention."

Psychologist Dr. Oz Pits said parents have to get ahead of the problem.

"I think parents can be naive. They think their child wouldn't do something like this or they think their child knows better," said Dr. Oz. She advises parents to have open communication and to ask tough questions.

"Ask them has this ever happened to you? Do you know anyone who has met someone off line that they met online? Would you do it or would you tell me before it happened?"

Carmen Ligon is a parent. She said better parenting is the key to keeping kids safe online.

"Get their passwords, have open communication and know what your kids are doing. You also have to understand social media yourself and be educated," said Ligon.

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