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Note to Parents

Children Online Privacy Protection Act

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Privacy Policy for Children under age 13 is the same as our official Privacy Policy. The only difference is in the language used.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and its implementing guidelines determine how to communicate online with children under the age of 13. This Federally sponsored web site meets the same standards that commercial web sites are obliged to follow under the COPPA. Verifiable parental consent from the child's parent is required before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from a child under the age of 13.


There are several exceptions that permit collection of a child's e-mail address without getting the parent's consent in advance.

  • To provide the parents with notice and to seek consent for communications with the child. Note: this may require collection of the parent's e-mail address.
  • To respond to a one time request from a child.
  • To respond more than once to a child's request (i.e., subscription to a newsletter). However, parental consent is required prior to the second communication.
  • To protect the safety of a child who is participating on the site (i.e., in a chat room).
  • To protect the site or to respond to law enforcement (i.e., in the case of site compromise or hack).

Personal Information

We want to be perfectly clear: We collect no information about you or your child, other than information automatically collected and stored, when you visit our web site unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Should any HHS web site need to collect any information about an under-13-aged child, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act guidelines are specific. The necessary information and instructions will be provided on the HHS web page that collects information about the child. The web page will specify exactly what the information will be used for, who will see it, and how long it will be kept.

Personal information about your under-13-aged child may be needed to respond to his/her communication to us -- to receive a poster, to acquire information for a school project, or to participate in one of our surveys. Personal information about your child will be destroyed immediately upon completion of its intended purpose.

Exception: On rare occasions, it may be determined that a communication from an under-13-aged child should be maintained for historical purposes. Should such an occasion occur, the necessary consent will be acquired from the child's parent.

Personal Information - Business Use Services

HHS chat rooms, discussion threads, ListServs, and other Internet tools have been created to support the mission of the Department, and to facilitate easier communication with HHS partners and the American people. HHS has not established comparable arrangements for usage by under-13-aged children.

An under-13-aged child may inadvertently provide personal information to one of these services. If this should happen, the information about the child will be deleted immediately upon discovery.

External Links:

HHS has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of your child's privacy on all HHS web pages provided for their use. We have made every attempt to ensure that each hotlink we present complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, we cannot assure a safe space once the child leaves the HHS environment. HHS exit pages will be provided to inform you and your child when the child leaves.


HHS Privacy Act Contacts