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August 12, 2013

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App helps talk about 'the birds and the bees'

Parents need not dread the inevitable question of where babies come from—a unique iPad app developed by University of Victoria psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts offers a family-friendly tool to help navigate the sensitive subject. 

The Facts of Life app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-facts-of-life/id674663292?mt=8) is the first of its kind, designed with kids ages six to 10 in mind to help parents satisfy their children’s curiosity in a safe format that avoids unreliable sources. The app also gives options for parents and kids to get more information, or tap “Enough” and return later when they are ready for more information.

“It is not safe for children to search online because of the inappropriate websites that pop up. There are good books available, but kids seem to prefer using mobile devices to access information these days,” says Roberts, a registered psychologist and associate professor of educational psychology. “The idea is for parents to use this app with their kids to give them just enough information at a time. I hope that by using this iPad app, children will be more likely to receive sexual information from their parents and stay safer online.”

Roberts specializes in children's development and well-being and used years of practical experience and keeping track of the questions she was asked in designing the app to respond to those questions in an age-appropriate, accurate, interactive and wholesome way. The iPad version was just released, with an iPhone version launched today and a Chinese language version coming.


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Advisory: Dr. Jillian Roberts is in PEI until later this month, but is available by phone or email.



  Media Contacts:

Dr. Jillian Roberts at 250-507-7968 or jjrobert@uvic.ca

Mitch Wright (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or mwwright@uvic.ca   

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