In line with the observance of third week of June as National Safe Kids Week, an expert shared some tips for parents on how to keep their children safe from preventable injuries, as well as in using the Internet to prevent them from becoming victims of online abuse.
Dr. Lee Anne Margaret Rivera, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Medical Officer IV, said among the hazards children face at home involves their time spent online using their phones or computers.
She said it is important to make the Internet safe for children since according to a government study, one of two children in the country is a victim of violence in the Internet, and the worst form of this violence is online sexual harassment and exploitation.
How can we keep our kids safe online?
Rivera said parents have to monitor their children’s use of smartphones and if they are using the computer, make sure it is within the living room or common area so they would know if their children are talking to someone they do not know.
“Know who your child’s online friends are,” Rivera said.
Parents also have to set standards for their kids and the do’s and dont’s when they are online.
She said parents have to encourage their children to ask themselves before posting anything online.
“Kung magpo-post sila ng isang bagay, tanungin muna nila ang sarili nila kung dapat ba itong i-post, at kung ang sagot nila ay hindi, we have to tell them hindi dapat ito i-post, like selfies na kulang ang mga suot nila or personal information,” Rivera said.
Parents must also teach their children to set their locations to private and to keep to themselves their private information by not posting it online.
Rivera said parents should keep track of their children’s Internet use. They should talk to them regularly about how they use the Internet because this habit of talking to their parents would help open communication lines in the event they see something wrong that need guidance while they are browsing the Internet.
She said parents should also encourage their children to seek help or counsel when something disturbs them to let them know that parents are there to protect and defend them.
Parents should also learn everything about Internet and be familiar with its use to help them not only to understand the risks but it will help also in talking to their children.
“Always remember that anyone can be a victim of abuse. It is important to keep our social media secure and think before sharing online,” she said.
Rivera said in today’s world of abundant technology on which the interest of children has increased, there are hazards at home that parents must consider to keep children safe, including in an online environment where bullying and inappropriate materials are abundant.
The country observes the National Safe Kids Week every third of June, an activity dedicated to raising awareness about child injury prevention and inspiring parents to focus on proven and practical tips to keep children safe. – Hanna C. Lacsamana