Stamp Out Cyberbullying and Keep Safe!

Dr Hannah Opstad, Paediatric Registrar, St Mary’s Hospital, London.


Adolescents are well recognised as highly vulnerable to online abuse. We sought to target state primary school children, using a novel teaching programme, SOCKS, to foster online safety awareness skills before adolescence. We report on the development of this programme and the pilot results.


Objective: To improve knowledge about online safety and abuse reporting in primary school children.

This programme was designed following a focus group discussion with adolescents. It comprises a 1-hour long teaching session. This has been trialed on two Year 5 classes with feedback obtained by questionnaire before/ after the session.


Data: 60 Year 5 children took part in the pilot. Prior to the class being delivered, 18/60 (30%) 9-10 year-olds signalled that they have a social media profile. One 10-year-old boy stated “Snapchat is my life!”

6/60 (10%) children admitted that they have friends online who they do not know offline. The feedback following the teaching showed many children had obtained greater awareness with qualitative analysis demonstrating themes of ‘intent to report harmful content’/ ‘insight into hurt caused by anonymous comments’:

e.g. “I probably would have written “that’s really funny…lol!” but after this session I don’t think I would because that would probably upset her”. Age 10


Our pilot programme highlights how common use of social media is, even in this young age group. The SOCKS programme is an engaging teaching programme to develop online safety awareness skills. It was universally well received by staff and students. This programme is due to be taught in a further two schools in the near future, pending wider rollout.



Dr Ian Maconochie, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Dr Rebecca Salter, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

A website designed to bring the concept of FOAM, Free Open Access Medical Education to paediatrics. We host short articles and posts on a variety of topics, from general paediatrics, to neonatology, to child development, to careers and more. Anything related to paediatrics that we think would be useful to our colleagues. So much brilliant teaching in paediatrics is delivered to an audience of a handful, wouldn’t it be great to share across institutions, cities, countries?

see it here

Project goals: develop a website that hosts high quality educational resources for paediatrics. We want it to be regularly updated, visually attractive,  engaging in tone and accessible on a variety of devices. 

We have developed the website as well as a Twitter and Facebook presence. 

We are continuing to develop our pool of contributors and to spread the concept of FOAM in the paediatric world. We have also started recording a podcast and running half day workshops to promote the concept and develop contributors. 

The project is a bit more open ended than most, and we don’t have a clearly defined endpoint or outcome. We would like FOAM to be as widespread in paediatrics as it is is EM.  We tend to look at page views and followers as our major indicator of ‘success’ and we are pleased to have reached over 2400 twitter followers and over 50,000 article views, around 100-200 per day. 

we are always looking for contributors,  please get in touch! 


Katie Knight, Mark Butler, Suzannah Pye, Priyen Shah, Jonathan Round