DENVER -- As parents, it can be difficult to protect our kids from bullying and monitor all their social media accounts.
But Naomi Lowell will tell you just how important she thinks that is.
The mother from Highlands Ranch checked her 13-year-old daughter's accounts recently, and was horrified by what she found.
"Awful stuff, like go kill yourself," the mother cried. Lowell says there were terrible comments and threats on her daughter's Facebook page and on ask.fm, a social networking site based in Europe, that allows users to post comments and questions anonymously.
"Seeing a question like 'why haven’t you killed yourself yet?' And her replying with something like, 'Yeah maybe I should.' How do you wrap your head around that?" the mom said.
Lowell says she contacted school officials, who responded immediately by investigating and also talking to her daughter about any participation she may have had in the exchanges.
The mother says she repeatedly contacted ask.fm, and eventually got an email response, and most of the postings were taken down. But she is upset, and wants other parents to know about the site. "It's just kind of eye opening," she said.
This kind of bullying on social media is a concern for Colorado officials as well.
Susan Payne is the director of Safe2Tell, a program run through the attorney general's office.
Kids can report threatening behavior anonymously through the Safe2Tell website, by phone or in some places through text message.
In September the program had its highest number of reports ever. "Our leading category, for the first time, was interventions in suicidal children and this is a really big wake up call for us," Payne said.
The program got 49 reports of suicidal children as young as nine in that one month alone, and many of them had problems with bullying.
Payne says kids need to know there is help available through family, schools and law enforcement. "We can do due diligence to find out who is doing that," Payne said.
But that kind of help didn't come soon enough for Rebecca Sedwick. The 12-year-old Florida girl committed suicide in September after repeatedly being bullied on social media. Two girls who allegedly bullied her are now facing charges of aggravated stalking.
With so much at stake doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado say parents may want to restrict access to sites like ask.fm.
"Be responsible and make sure that your child’s access is limited and that their engagement is appropriate," said Natalie Abramson, a pediatric psychologist. "Certainly you should have a zero tolerance policy for your child being attacked by others virtually and zero tolerance policy for your child attacking others virtually, and following up very closely and coherently with school professionals as well," Abramson said.
Parenting and technology writer Dave Taylor says there are plenty of options for parents who choose to monitor their kids.
"If you have wireless internet at your house, in the router itself you can have software that monitors what sites you visit. You can do the same on computers, and you can do the same on phones," Taylor said. Follow this link and watch the video to hear more of Taylor's valuable advice.
Naomi Lowell admits she hadn't checked her daughter's accounts for a while, but says it's not a mistake she will make again.AlertMe