Top Five Technology Tips for After-School Safety
Back-to-school is quickly approaching, and that means there are unsupervised hours after school and more opportunities for kids to make unwise decisions. With ever-changing technology, parents often feel like they are playing catch-up to supervise the online lives of their children. Here are the top five tips parents need to know to keep an eye on their kids after school and promote safe, healthy environments for their children.
How technology can help keep your kids safe after school:
1. Know which social media platforms your kids use and stay up to date. Technology changes quickly and parents often feel their children know more about technology than they do. For example, Snapchat recently added a new update where followers can see the real-time location of Snapchat users. That means anyone who follows kids on Snapchat can see their location at all times. Scary, right? It is important that parents make a conscious effort to open dialogue with their children and know which social media platforms they’re using and monitor technology updates to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Keep your kids connected. On average, a child gets his or her first smartphone at 10 years old, according to a recent study. But if your child isn’t ready for a smartphone, the GizmoGadget is the perfect choice for them. This device is great for keeping track of kids’ locations after school; with the GizmoHub™ app† on your smartphone, you can locate your child on a map, and confirm they are still at the neighbor’s pool or heading home for dinner. The GizmoGadget acts like a smartwatch, allowing kids to receive and make calls to a limited contact list just by touching a button. The GizmoGadget has long-lasting battery life and is water-resistant, so it can keep going as long as they can.
3. Keep them safe on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are approximately 9,743,000 licensed drivers under the age of 20 in the United States. That means there are thousands of inexperienced drivers on the road at any given time. If you have teenagers who are driving themselves or others around after school, be sure you know where they are with the HumX device. Set maximum speeds and GPS barriers that alert you if your teen is somewhere they shouldn’t be. Also feel safe knowing that they have 24/7 pinpoint roadside assistance and car maintenance notifications.
4. Protect your nest. Canary enables you to keep an eye on your home even while you’re away. This complete home security system offers video surveillance with intelligent notifications. Canary is built to learn and adapt to your home over time and allows you to actually see what your kids are up to when they get home from school. The intelligent notifications only alert you when something unusual happens, so you’ll enjoy peace of mind when all is quiet and have the opportunity to react swiftly and efficiently when it’s not.
5. Monitor phone and app usages. Technology is a powerful tool and can be a great resource for children and parents alike for both communication and safety. A great way to keep technology as a tool for good is to establish protocol for your children. Set boundaries like not using cell phones after 7:00 pm or make sure to follow your kids’ social media accounts. Whatever those boundaries might be, promoting safe uses for technology ensures these after-school times are all about fun for parents and children alike.
By Lori Ann Singleton