Parents are proud - but should be careful what they post online.Picture: Twitter

London - Proud parents who share pictures of their children on social media could unintentionally be handing material to paedophiles, say children's charities.

The innocent practice, dubbed "sharenting", sees family photos posted on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram – including images such as a child in the bath.

But parents were warned that they may be helping predators by not having the correct privacy controls in place. Paedophiles may find the content and pass it on, said children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Dr Heather Woods, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Glasgow, warned parents: "Would you think about giving your 10-year-old a can of Coke an hour before bed? That just sounds silly. It’s the same thing. It’s a stimulant."