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Keeping Children Safe Around Water

Now that summer is approaching, nothing sounds more appealing than a dip in the pool to cool off from the heat. However, when swimming pools, plastic kiddy pools, or bathtubs are involved, children need constant supervision. All it takes is two inches of water, and a child can drown.

This is the time of year that you hear the unfortunate news of children drowning. According to Steve Eastwood’s article from About.com, around 90 people die in drowning related incidents each year, and 75% of those deaths were children who were being watched by only one adult and were out of his/her sight for 5 minutes or less. If that is all it takes, there’s no excuse to leave your child alone for even one minute. If you need to go back inside or even walk out of the room while your child is taking a bath, take your child with you; or make sure that you have another adult watching him/her.

Knowledge and preparation is the best prevention. The American Red Cross website offers classes to become CPR certified. Being prepared is extremely important. Look for a class in or around your area.  By being prepared, you can help save your child’s life or the life of another.

Keep your kids safe during the summer this year. The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona is a group that consists of parents, health professionals, and business leaders who try to make aware the importance of water safety. The DPCA has a great website for those interested in getting involved in the cause against children drowning. It provides great tips and resources, from tips for lifeguards to grief resources for those who have been affected by or involved in drowning or near- drowning incidents. Summertime should be fun, so keep it that way by keeping your child safe.

Internet Safety

Our society today relies heavily on the use of computers. The work force practically mandates the use of computers in most types of jobs, we send letters and communicate via e-mail, schools ask students to research topics and type reports, and computer games are almost limitless. While the Internet has many benefits and puts world-wide information at our finger-tips, unfortunately it poses some safety risks for kids today.
 
Here are some computer safety tips you can follow at home to help protect your children:

Allow computer use only in high traffic rooms.
While it’s tempting to put the computer in a child’s room for homework purposes, the best place is a living room or family room. This way parents are able to monitor their child’s activities on the computer. You can see what sites your child is visiting, what games he/she is playing, and who he/she is Instant Messaging. This gives you more control over computer behavior and sends the message to your children that you care (and are aware of) what they are doing on the computer.

Instruct your child never to give out important information over the computer.
Let your child know it is not okay to give out his/her name, address, phone number, city, state, or school location over the computer. Even giving out the family (or their own) email needs parent approval. Evaluate photos or video clips before allowing your child to upload them, to ensure they do not contain identifying information. This helps limit the number of people who know how to contact your child.

Block Specific Sites.
There are many programs that can block the content of certain Web sites, making them off-limits for children. Installing a firewall on your family’s computer not only will block access to certain sites, but will also prevent unauthorized users from entering your computer. Most browsers have the ability to block specific sites from use, but you’ll need to install software if you’re looking to comprehensively block and monitor numerous sites. Also, keep in mind that schools automatically install firewalls onto their network systems, which helps make using computers at school safe.

If you think your child is visiting inappropriate sites, or is being targeted or contacted by a person you don’t know, the FBI has issued an informational publication that discusses in more detail, potential on-line dangers and what to do in these situations. With a little computer safety education, your child will be able to enjoy the benefits of technology and the World Wide Web once again.