When it comes to your children, technology may be something that you actually want to try and set limits on (go run around outside, already!). However, it can actually be quite useful when it comes to helping you keep them safe. There are a variety of online tools available that can help make that particular parental task a little easier.
Here are three of the most effective technology-based tools you can use to help you keep your kids safer:
Smartphone Parental Controls/Apps
If your child has a cell phone, you have the ability to monitor their use of that phone, as well as keep track of where they are. Most newer cell phone models have parental controls integrated, which can be accessed through the phone’s settings. Through such controls, you control the amount of screen time, set limits on any purchases, put restrictions on the type of content your child can access, and track the location of the phone.
In addition to those integrated parental controls, you can install more customizable controls via any number of available third-party apps. Just go the app store appropriate for the phone’s operating system (Apple, Android), and find the right one for your needs. Check out some parental control app recommendations.
Public Records Searches
Online public records searches are the fast and easy way for you to get more information about other adults with whom your children may spend time. You can check on the parents of your child’s friends, get more information about your new next-door neighbors, and so forth. Simply enter a name, and you may find out if the person has something in their past that they may be trying to hide, such as a criminal history.
(Note: The search detailed above is for general information purposes only; it can’t be used to influence any sort of employment or hiring decisions. If you’re looking to check on the background of a babysitter, school employee, coach or similar, you need to do so by going through an eligible Consumer Reporting Agency.)
Interactive Safety Guides
There’s no question that kids are drawn more and more to technology. It’s an inevitable part of daily life. So, why not make technology work to your and their benefit, and use it to help your kids learn valuable safety tips? You can go to the same app stores mentioned above to find and download games specifically targeted toward learning about safety in just about any circumstance: food safety, road and automotive safety, cyber security, what to do in case of fire or other emergency, and so on.
If you want to stay off the phone, the same kinds of games, interactive guides, and safety-centric videos can also be found on the web. Encouraging your child to interact on a computer or other larger screen is also a great way to get you and the rest of the family to spend time together.
Spending some quality time together learning about safety; it’s a win-win!