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Coquitlam organization wants cellphones out of kids’ bedrooms at night

WATCH ABOVE: A campaign was launched this week, aimed at protecting children from online predators. Nadia Stewart explains.

It’s an attention-grabbing poster – a teenager girl, typing her on her phone at night, with a text bubble lifting up her skirt.

But the Coquitlam-based Children of the Street Society say their “Hooked” campaign, meant to convince parents to ban smartphones from their children’s bedrooms at night, is grounded in education.

A screengrab from the Children of the Street Society’s newest campaign, asking parents to remove smartphones from their children’s rooms at night.

“The campaign is shocking. We want people to see it, get their attention, but then go to action and do some education,” says Diane Sowden, Executive Director of the society.

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“A cell phone is actually a computer now.”

READ MORE: How Canada’s youth are using social media to put an end to bullying

She says while parents generally don’t allow their kids to have a computer in their room, they allow smart phones.

“We know that predators know this as well, and they’re going to use that ability through apps to connect with these kids. If the technology’s in the bedroom, things can happen that give advantage to a predator.”

Sowden says with phones replacing computers as the communication tool of choice for teens, parents need to pay closer attention to what their kids are doing with them. She hopes that with education, parents will feel more comfortable talking to their children. And she hopes parents make their children put away their phones at night, far away from where they can be used.

“When you hand the car keys to your children when they’re 16, you do education…you supervise, and you know where they are. You should do the same with technology.”

WATCH: Diane Sowden speaks with Sonia Sunger about the “Hooked” campaign

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