The world can be a big, scary place. And if you have children, it can feel even more dangerous. After all, you are responsible for their well-being. The tasks of protecting your children and teaching them how to be safe can be particularly daunting. How do you keep your children safe from all the bullies, cybercrime, accidents, and other day-to-day dangers that they are likely to face?
Fortunately, technology is now available to help parents with such lessons. There are a number of tech-based tools out there to help you keep your kids safer, even when you’re not right there. Here are some of your options:
Parental Control Apps
You can’t always be at your child’s side to make sure they’re doing the right things when they’re online. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be in control. On computers, cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices, you have the option of activating and customizing the parental controls. Through such controls, you can manage how long your child can be online, what types of content they are allowed to view, and what kinds of online purchases they are not allowed to make.
With cell phones specifically, parental controls come standard in the phone’s settings, making them easy to activate and personalize. They are fairly basic, but should cover essential online needs. If for any reason the parental controls you currently have available on a device don’t feel sufficient, you do have the option of purchasing third-party parental control apps. While you do have to pay for them, many of these apps offer even greater customization of controls, based on your specific needs.
In addition to parental controls over usage, you also have the inherent ability to track your child’s cell phone location. Assuming your child has their phone with them all the time, this enables you to keep a virtual eye on your child, and make sure they are where they say they are. Just configure the location services on their phone, and you will have a good idea of where your child is, even if they’re out and about with their friends.
If your child doesn’t have a phone, or they aren’t always good about keeping it with them, you could also consider a tracking watch. These days, tracking watches for kids are GPS-enabled and waterproof, with all the high-tech touchscreen and WiFi functionality that modern kids and parents have come to expect. Best of all, they come in a range of styles and colors, which allows your child to make a modern fashion statement (and keep wearing it) at the same time you’re keeping track of where he or she is.
Online Public Records Searches
When it comes to your children spending time with adults you don’t know—or even the ones you do—it can’t hurt to make sure you actually have all the facts. Whether they’re the parents of your child’s friend that you’ve known for years, or a new neighbor who just moved in next door, a quick online check can help you verify if they’re hiding anything important—and even dangerous—from their past. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do that is with a specialized online public records search.
To start the search, just enter the full first and last name—and city and state, if you have them—of the adult you want to check. Once you’re sure you’ve found the right person, you have the option of looking more into their public records background. With this search, you can see if a person has any criminal records (ranging from just a traffic ticket up to arrests and jail records), if they are a reported sex offender, and other kinds of info. With that information in hand, you can then make an educated decision about whether or not your kids should be around them or not.
Yes, that’s right: video games. We’re not talking about first-person shooter style video games here, of course; those are not particularly helpful in terms of teaching about safety. But many kids’ safety organizations are using the same kinds of engaging plots and graphics and the invigorating action of popular video games and cartoons to grab kids’ attention and teach them about safety.
Using such an approach actually makes learning about safety fun and engaging. Your kids will be so entertained that won’t even know they’re actually learning something!
And these interactive pieces of media cover the gamut of safety topics. They are effective at teaching children about automotive safety, water safety, cyber security, and what they need to do in case of a fire, earthquake or other emergency. The list of safety topics literally goes on and on.
With e-books and articles, you can give your kids the access to the electronic devices they want while teaching them about safety. (Helping them to improve their reading skills is just a nice little bonus.) Simply perform a general “children’s e-books” search online to get access to all kinds of downloads for Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers from multiple retailers and child safety sites.
These are just a few of the technological tools out there to help you keep your kids safe. They are designed to make your job as a parent a little easier, and the world a little less big and scary.