You might have heard of virtual reality (VR) these last few years, as it's taking over the technology world. Based on TechTarget, it is a simulated 3D environment that gives users the ability to explore and interact with a virtual surrounding. The virtual surroundings usually resemble reality as perceived through the users' senses. However, according to new research from the NSPCC, paedophiles use them to groom and sexually abuse children. Why Virtual Reality Is Dangerous for Kids VR uses senses to create an immersive environment for users, and that includes touch. The 'phantom touch' sensation is where the brain fills in the gaps in sensory input. This would then cause the body to experience sensations close to physical touch. This means that children who experience VR sexual abuse might experience the touch without their consent. Kids can also enter virtual reality spaces made for adults. Image credit: Today Last year, NBC's journalist, Kate Snow went into the 'Metaverse' due to a report made by Common Sense Media. She met a 13-year-old child inside an app that was made for ages 18 and above during her time in the virtual reality. After that, Kate went into another app and came across a strip club room. There were avatars dancing and doing simulated sexual acts. When asked if everyone was an adult, an avatar said, 'It's 16 and up'. Other Dangers of Virtual Reality There are a lot of other downsides to VR other than kids being exposed to sexual abuse and grooming. Educative listed down a few risks of virtual reality and that includes: 1. Addiction and Distorted Sense of Reality The point of virtual reality is to escape this reality and it is usually used for entertainment. According to a study by the Communication University of China, VR gaming is said to be 44% more addictive than PC gaming. 2. Privacy Concerns VR actually collects far more user data than any other conventional technology. VR headsets with a live mic can listen to conversations, and the eye-tracking technology can record what a person is looking at. It also gathers biometric information, which is close to getting a person's identity. How to Play Safely NSPCC actually listed out ways the whole family can enjoy VR, your kids included. Some of the tips they shared include: \tPlay together \tExplore for games for the whole family \tTalk to your child about online safety \tSupervise their use \tSet healthy boundaries Go Offline and Have Fun Another option for safe playing would be to go offline and spend time with your family. If you have free time, go out and explore this reality if you have the chance. You're doing great, parents! Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!