With Files from: Bob McIntyre

The Momo Challenge has already rattled a lot of families and disturbed a lot of kids.

Mark Lionello, the program manager of the mental health association’s Cochrane-Timiskaming branch, says it’s important to talk about it.

Momo invades innocent computer apps like Youtube Kids and encourages children to harm themselves. It even threatens their families if they don’t comply.

Lionello says a conversation is vital, regardless of the child’s age.  The younger they are, however, the more important it is to know what they’re getting into online – and why.

“I think there’s obviously a bit more rewsponsibility on the parents at that point to maybe – and I hate to use the word ‘police’ – but have a better idea or a better sense of what they’re actually doing.”

Lionello knows that the older the child, the less control you have on their internet activity.

He says it’s still important to communicate with them and remind them about the danger of putting personal information out there.

Lionello says there’s no guarantee your kids won’t see it and underlines the need for a clear, transparent conversation.

“Your child may be more willing to come forward and say ‘okay, this is what I saw, it’s disturbing or this is bothering me’ and then you can deal with it together.”

Lionello says to reassure your kids that they’re safe and encourage them not to post any identifying information online.