Children and young people’s lives have changed dramatically because of the coronavirus. With social distancing measures and most schools facing class closures, children will be spending more time at home and online.
The internet can be a great place for children and young people to learn, explore and play. It is a great tool for staying in touch with friends and family as well as interacting with the world around them. The internet can also be an incredibly inclusive, creative and fulfilling place. However, the virtual online world can be dangerous too and can present great risk of potential harm to our children and young people. It is important that we are aware of how to ensure that our children are safe when online. For our children here at Springwell, that risk is very real. They may not be aware of potential dangers or what to do when they face them.
Top Tips for Parents
- Ensure children are supervised when on the internet – just like we would supervise them outdoors
- Rules that apply in real life should apply on the internet too – language, age limits etc
- Make use of parental controls – most devices should have this
- Use safe searches – there are safe search engines (e.g. swiggle.org or kids-search.com) or safe searches can be enabled
- Check age ratings on apps, films, games and social media – they are a good guide for how suitable something is
- Set routines and limits – providing boundaries and routines is very important for our children. For screen time it is good to establish agreed limits that you can stick to.
- Sleep – blue light from screens and the mental activity from using devices can affect sleep so it’s advisable to avoid screen time near bedtime
It’s important to talk to your child about staying safe online and about the apps and sites they’re using. Below you can find some help guides to support you to keep your child safe whilst using common devices and apps.
Online Safety Guides