High-Tech Tools to Help Kids Stay Safe
It can be a scary world out there. Especially if you’re a parent. You want to protect your kids from the criminals and predators and bullies for as long as you can. But, with all the hecticness of daily life, it may seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are tools out there that can at least help busy parents to stay on top of their children’s safety. Here are just a few:
Parental Controls & Trackers
On any electronic device, you can employ parental controls to help manage your child’s online use. In the computer’s, tablet’s or cell phone’s settings, you can set how much time your child can stay online, set parameters for the types of content they can see, and stop any unauthorized purchases. Password protections ensure that you’re the one setting the rules when it comes to online usage, and not your child.
With cell phones, parental controls also extend to tracking the phone’s location. By turning the phone tracker function on, you can know where the phone—and, consequently, your child—is at any time when they’re away from home and not in your immediate care.
Online Public Records
Back out in the real world, how sure are you that the other adults around your child are safe? Whether you’ve known the parents of your child’s friends for years, or you haven’t even met them yet, it can’t hurt to have more information about them. That’s where an online public records search comes in handy.
Simply input the name of the parent…or new neighbor, or online “friend.” After you’re sure you’ve found the right person, you can dig a little deeper to see if the person has any criminal records, if they’re a sex offender, or if they really are who they say they are. The information you find can help you decide if that person is okay for your child to spend time around or not.
Videos, Games & Interactive Puzzles
As long as the necessary precautions are taken beforehand (yes, parental controls), technology can not only be safe for kids, it can actually help you to teach them about safety. There’s no question that cartoons, video games and other interactive puzzles appeal to children; and why not? They’re fun!
The things that make cartoons and videos fun—colorful graphics, exciting action—are also what make them such a great learning tool, especially when it comes to matters of safety. They grab kids’ attention, which makes it much more likely that they’ll pay attention to the subject matter. Because of this, a variety of organizations like the National Child Safety Council and the KidSafe Foundation have put out kid-friendly media to help ingrain the ideas of car/street safety, cyber safety, what to do in case of fire or other emergencies, and so on.
Sure, things still seem bad out there. But using at least one or all of these approaches can help to keep kids safer, both online and out in the real world. With these tools at your disposal, it’s nice to know that you’re not alone when it comes to caring about your child’s safety.