Keeping Kids Safe During Distance Learning

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During this time of pandemic, stress, and uncertainty, helping children feel safe and secure at home is more important than ever before. As a parent or guardian, you can create an environment of security and safety during distance learning by taking these steps.

Are There Any Dangers to Distance Learning?

You might be thinking, “If my child is doing school from home, how are they in danger?” Certainly, it is far less likely that children will contract COVID-19 while they’re staying at home. However, with an increased online presence comes several different dangers. To take precautions against these threats, you must be aware of them.

• Online Predators

The increase in time that children spend online means an increase in contact potential with online predators.  It is extremely important not to overlook the grooming that can take place in online forums, messaging apps, and social media sites. Vigilance and communication are key.  Keep an eye on the sites that your children visit and the people they communicate with online. Make sure they know that they shouldn’t talk to strangers on the internet or accept message requests from people they don’t know. 

Cyberbullying

Bullying isn’t just an in-person phenomenon. In fact, cyberbullying is rapidly becoming a common problem among both children and teens. Learn to recognize the signs of cyberbullying and educate yourself and your child with prevention tips.

Overstimulation

If your child is not used to working on the computer for long periods of time, they could be prone to overstimulation. Be sure to balance their computer time with frequent short breaks for fresh air, water, play, and physical activity. 

Eye Strain and Headaches

Staring at a computer screen for multiple classes could have negative health effects. Eye strain and headaches are common even among adults who look at computers all day.

Excessive Sitting

Too much sitting and staring leads to fatigue, apathy, and a lack of energy. Fresh air and exercise are key during distance learning. Have “recess” every day if you can, and be sure to punctuate your day with physical activity to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. 

How to Encourage Safety During Distance Learning

Prioritize your child’s safety by taking the following steps.

1. Talk to your kids about online safety. 

Be honest and upfront about digital safety. Let your child know that not everyone has good intentions, and it is important that they use caution, especially if they receive messages from strangers. 

2. Monitor their online activity.

Don’t be afraid to check your young child’s browser history and app list. It is important that you know who they communicate with and what they see on their screen.

3. Encourage your kids to be open with you.

Be honest with your children and encourage them to be honest with you. Do your best to make sure that they won’t feel like they’re “in trouble” if they share something upsetting or private with you. Children are much more likely to tell you about an inappropriate message or cyberbullying incident if you’ve built a bond of trust and openness with them.

4. Help make distance learning fun.

The sudden shift to distance learning can leave children feeling isolated, confused, and stressed. Try to combat the confusion of a new format by lightening the mood. Invent fun games and new ways to finish homework. Be silly, spend time together, exercise often, and make life fun. 

5. Continue taking COVID-19 precautions.

Continue with the usual protocol, such as social distancing, washing your hands frequently, wearing your masks in public indoor spaces, and staying home when possible.

6. Take breaks.

Your child needs plenty of breaks. Break up assignments and homework with resting, reading, and physical activity.

Who Are We, and How Can We Help?

The primary focus of The Lockout Company is keeping students safe. That’s why we invented the SmartBoot, a system that enables schools to have an effective lockdown procedure in the event of an emergency. However, we care about safety in the home as well as in the classroom.

If you have any further questions regarding school lockdowns, safety in the home, or the LockOut SmartBoot System, do not hesitate to call us today. Your safety is our priority.

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