As if you don’t have enough worries about what your kids experience online,  along comes something like “Momo”.

The Momo Challenge invades otherwise safe sites like YouTube Kids… with scary videos that encourage kids to harm themselves.  It has been known to threaten a child’s family if they don’t comply.

Mark Lionello is the program manager at the Cochrane-Timiskaming branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.  He says the best approach is communication and awareness: talk to your kids about it, and continue to monitor their internet activity.

“Knowing what they’re doing online, what they have access to, chat are they watching, you know?” he says. “Despite the fact that something like this popped up on YouTube Kids, just be aware of what they have access to, what they’re frequenting.”

At the same time, Lionello says to talk to your kids about the importance of not disclosing personal information online, and reassure them that any threats are not accurate.

“Really, what they should do is if they see this, is to go to report to them, to their parents and then their parents can take action or response accordingly.”

So in a nutshell: communication, awareness and reassurance.