As parents, you experience pressures and concerns not faced by previous generations. Despite these challenges, many parents make heroic efforts to raise healthy children in safe environments despite uncertain times. Child safety becomes paramount. PTA offers you several tools to help you gauge potential risks and advice on giving clear instructions to your children on how to avoid such risks. Talking to children about safety also increases their understanding of violence and the need for practicing safe behaviors.
Parents are not alone in making child safety a priority. Many school officials and community members are working with families to create a safe environment where children can flourish and grow, free from violence, drugs, gangs and other threats. With the necessary resources, support, and guidance, all of us can make a difference in our homes, schools and communities.
- Digital Safety
- School Safety
- Physical Safety
- Teen Driver Safety
- Substance Abuse
- Railroad Safety
- Safe School Checklist
- SAMHSA – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Association
- McGruff – Safety & Crime Prevention
In this day and age, bullying is a growing problem in our schools. There are many ways a child can be bullied:
- Cyber Bullying
- Emotional Bullying
- Physical Bullying
- Racial Bullying
- Sexual Bullying
- Verbal Bullying
Check out what you can do and get the information you need to create a bully free environment and home and school with PTA’s Connect for Respect Program.
Social Media Tips
Social media is a powerful tool for individuals to join together, share content and ideas, and engage in open conversation. To be successful, PTAs must be committed to supporting honest, transparent and knowledgeable dialogue. National PTA has partnered with a number of digital and social media platforms to provide programs and guidance for parents. Check it out at:
What Makes the Internet Dangerous
It’s important to distinguish here that the Internet is not dangerous. People are dangerous.
The Internet has become a new tool for those who would wish to bring harm to children. When you were a kid, you had to worry about a guy in a van who might be cruising through your neighborhood. These days, you have to worry about a guy with a laptop and they can be anywhere in the world, talking to your kid at any time of the day. The anonymity afforded by the Internet allows people to take on many personalities without any form of identity verification. People who abuse this privilege sometimes commit crimes, ranging from identity theft, to credit card fraud to soliciting minors for sexual acts.
Helping your child understand that there are people out there who are pretending to be something they are not is a big first step to protecting your children when they are online.
What is “Phriending”?
Phriending is a new ploy used by predators where someone pretends to know a child through association, having gained this knowledge from reading blogs or social network site pages, and is added to a list of people who have special access to otherwise private information about that child. Unfortunately, the currency of social networks, and being a teenager in general, is built on the number of friends a person has, so teens are very eager to add “friends,” even those with weak links back to them. A child’s buddy list or friends list could number into the hundreds, so it’s important to know with whom they are communicating online. Kids are very trusting, and predators count on this to then gain access to private pages, updates on a child’s activities and whereabouts and even communicate directly with the child, even though they’ve never met in person. Phriends are phoney friends.
How Real is the Internet Predator Problem?
The FBI estimates that there are approximately 500,000 to 750,000 sexual predators online on any given day. They further estimate that there are approximately 18 million teenagers online at any given moment. Conservatively, that is a ratio of 1 predator for every 40 children online. Considering that is the ratio of children to teachers in any high school, you can understand how real this problem is. This is simply an illustration of what the ratios look like, to demonstrate that while 500,000 may seem like a big number, it seems even bigger when taken in the context of a ratio of predators to kids online at any given moment. Click here for more information.
Steps to Internet Safety
- Stay away from the blame game if your child comes to you with a problem
- Help children understand that just as they would never tell a complete stranger where they live, they shouldn’t give away too much personal information online
- Let your child know that you are not interested in spying on them, but rather in keeping them out of trouble
- Ensure that your child knows they can come to you if they ever feel uncomfortable about someone who has approached them online
- Have clear ground rules for Internet use, so that consequences can easily be matched with breaking them