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Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc. Presents Summer Safety Matters!

Summer is a great time for kids and families, full of fun activities and free time. But, it’s important for parents to know that kids also face many new risks during summer months. Being out of school, sometimes with new adults in new places like camps, summer programs or at friends’ houses opens up kids to a whole host of new dangers. And, with more kids spending unsupervised time online during the summer, they need to be aware of various digital dangers too.  Digital dangers on the Internet, apps, chatrooms, gaming sites and virtual reality sites.

 

To help protect children from these increased risks, the Monique Burr Foundation, Inc. has launched the new MBF Summer Safety Matters program, free for families at MBFSummerSafetyMatters.org. Visit for summer safety information and activities that parents can complete with their kids to earn some fun prizes, like back to school supplies and family tickets to Legoland.

 

 

What are the activities and prizes?

Activities on the Summer Safety Matters portal will include five lesson plans for parents to review with their children regarding summer safety. Lessons will cover the 5 Safety Rules, Safe Adults, New Places, Unfamiliar Faces, and Screen Time. After each lesson, parents and kids can team up to take an interactive quiz to help reinforce what they have learned.

 

Every child who participates will be entered to win a prize, including back to school supplies. Grand prizes will include two family four packs of tickets to Legoland and a pair of tickets to the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.

 

To enter, take a quiz on MBFSummerSafetyMatters.org by August 7.

Without school, homework, and other school-related activities, kids spend more unsupervised time online during the summer.

This opens them up to various digital dangers posed by the Internet, apps, gaming sites and virtual reality sites. Snap Chat’s new Snap Map is one recent example of this. How can parents protect their children from these online threats?

We have to educate children so that they make smarter decisions online. That means having continuous conversations with your kids about online safety. Look for everyday opportunities to talk to your kids about this, like when stories come up in the news. You can start today by going to MBFSummerSafetyMatters.org and taking the digital safety quiz with your kids.

 

Parents also need to become better educated about technology. When parents ask their kids for technology information, that puts them at a disadvantage. For example, many parents ask their kids for access to their social media accounts, but they don’t realize they only have the login information that their kids want them to have. Many kids today have fake accounts, like “finstas” or “fake instagrams”, and concealing apps to hide that they have certain apps.

Parents feel like they’re snooping when they monitor their kids’ online activity, but they’re really not. There is monitoring software parents can install. We recommend parents let their children know that they’re installing that and why.

Visiting relatives, attending pool parties, and having sleepovers with friends are favorite summer pastimes. However, research shows most sexual abuse happens by someone a child knows and trusts, like a relative, a babysitter, a friend’s big brother or parent. It’s wise for parents to be cautious about who their child is spending time with, but you don’t always have to say no.

I know it sounds scary, and these dangers can easily turn us into worry warts.  With more than 3 million children being abused in the US every year, we have to talk to our kids.  Many parents have had an experience growing up that would fall into these categories.  The power of knowledge, sharing and being aware can prevent this from happening to our future generations.  With some precautions and conversations with your child, they can spend time with friends and others and be safe. Knowledge is power.  Take the time to take these quizzes with your children and both can feel safer this summer.

Parents can go to MBFSummerSafetyMatters.org to learn more and start the conversation with their child by taking the “New Places” and “Unfamiliar Faces” quizzes.

 

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