As the COVID-19 restrictions progress, many of you will be trying to adjust to the challenges of working from home while simultaneously juggling the very real demands of keeping children occupied, happy and safe. We know we are very fortunate to live in a world where access to the internet and modern technology allows us to stay connected with colleagues, friends, family and loved ones despite the limitations of social distancing. These connections are especially important during times of crisis and uncertainty.
It is important to remember that the internet is not always a safe place for children and young people. Now, more than ever, as our children turn to social media as their only means of connecting with friends, it is important that parents and carers remain vigilant and careful.
The following links, from the website of the e-Safety Commissioner, provide some excellent guidance for parents and carers in relation to keeping children safe online during the COVID-19 restrictions.
There are suggestions regarding how to talk to children about being safe online, tips about parental controls, and the importance of monitoring screen time. Suggestions regarding where to physically set up your child’s computer are also included, along with information about safe searching techniques and child-friendly search engines. The e-Safety Commissioner also recommends that parents limit screen time for their children and, more importantly, that parents familiarise themselves with online grooming techniques and the signs of cyberbullying in children.
The website also contains a webpage wholly devoted to cyber safety for young people and young adults.
If you need further information or have any concerns, please contact your Professional Standards Officer. You can also contact LCA Child Protection Project Officer, Mary-Ann Carver.