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The end of August is often dreaded by many kids. With September right around the corner, they only have a couple of weeks to finish their summer projects or get those extra hours of sleep. This time of year can also bring a lot of stress to parents. Whether it be helping their kids gather new supplies or just getting back in the mindset of the school routine, parents want to make sure their kids are ready for the new school year.

Once the new school year begins, you can be sure that the Long Island traffic will get worse. Highways will be filled with a few more college students. Bus routes will frequent the morning and afternoons. Kids and teens will be walking on the sidewalk or riding their bikes and many parents will be dropping off their kids by the entrance. Whether or not you have kids, all drivers need to account for this traffic and take the necessary preparations so that everyone can be safe.

For Parents Driving Their Kids

If you are a parent driving your kid to school, there are a couple of things you can do to make the trip a little safer every day.

For Regular Drivers

It goes without saying that driver’s need to follow all the traffic laws regarding schools and school busses. Even though every driver knows this, these laws are often neglected. Still, one in five children (under 15) who were killed in a traffic accident were pedestrians.

Teach Your Kids Pedestrian Safety

If your son or daughter walks to school every day it is very important that you teach them the proper pedestrian safety so that they can prevent dangerous situations. Distraction is the biggest problem with child pedestrian safety. Statistically, teenagers have a higher risk of getting a fatal pedestrian injury the older they are. The main cause of this involves these teens being distracted while they are walking.

As you probably guessed, the distractions stem from smart phones. Teens can use their smart phones to text, browse social media and listen to music. According to a study at the most common distraction for young pedestrians were wearing their headphones to listen to music, with texting being a close second. It is important that you warn your teenagers of the dangers of being distracted while walking to school.

Children usually aren’t ready to start walking to school without a parent until they are 10. If you plan to let your children walk by themselves when they’re older, it’s a good idea to walk with them to school when they are young so they are familiar with the neighborhood. When they do eventually walk alone, it would be ideal for your child to walk with at least one neighbor or sibling so that they are never alone. It is best to show your child a route that has crossing guards and sidewalks.

We are wishing parents and students alike a safe and productive school year.

Traveling for work or going on a trip with friends can be stressful if you have to leave your kids at home. For parents who travel a lot – particularly single parents – ensuring the safety of their kids at home is paramount. Before smartphones came into the picture, parents were worried that their child could not reach them in case of an emergency. Now however, smartphones and easy internet access often leave parents feeling worried about the prospect of their teenagers at home alone.

When you are forced to leave your teen at home, enabling child safety measures online and offline are the best alternatives for parents. If you are wondering where to start, here are some effective hacks that you can use to monitor your child’s safety when you are not around.

Thinking Just Makes It Worse

Leaving kids back home when you are traveling abroad for professional or personal reasons is an unpleasant feeling for most parents. It gets worse with the ‘what if’ thoughts that seem to constantly hover at the back of your mind, intensifying stress and making you panic the whole time you are away. Some of these thoughts include:

These thoughts cannot be overlooked as there is always a faint chance they might come true. Regardless of whether you’ve had the talk with your children about screen-time limits and online safety measures, it remains a challenge to check up on them when you’re not around.

The best idea is to be transparent and chalk out a safety plan together with your child. While there are many ways to spy on your kid’s devices and smartphones, you should always consider spying your “plan B.” Here are some practical solutions that are for ensuring your child’s safety when you are traveling.

1. Configuring Parental Control on Your Router

An effective strategy to set up parental controls is by modifying the configuration of your home router. Routers are the first stopping point for all internet traffic that enters your home, so setting up parental controls enables you to monitor sites for various gadgets running on your home Wi-Fi, like tablets, mobile phones, PCs and gaming devices.

2. Child Browsing Programs

Also known as “walled gardens,” these are blocking programs that prevent children from accessing any sites on the internet that are not pre-approved. They commonly allow access to recreational, email and social network websites. The good news is that these child-friendly browsers are frequently available for free, while also offering more powerful features in paid versions. These programs are generally more suitable for younger children, but are also now available for adolescents.

3. Managing Your Home Network

Your WiFi and mobile data plans can control your home network through both hardware and software options. You can use options like Circle Home and OpenDNS which will help in filtering Internet content, create search limits, and pause connections when required. These options are suitable for kids of all ages and help keep you at peace when you are away.

4. Safe Mode On

SafeSearch control is now widely accessible in most Android and Safari devices. With the help of this, parents can

Services like Netsanity are currently very popular medium for monitoring internet use, ensuring your child is safe both physically and virtually.

5. Parental Control Spying Devices

In this day and age, many parents are choosing to monitor their children in order to cope with growing menaces like virtual kidnapping, stalking, cyber crimes and gun violence. Nick Herbert, a British digital specialist, has recently devised an application called ReplyASAP that parents can use to secretly monitor and track their kids when they are not around. Other similar options are also widely available, such as tracking systems and listening devices that parents who travel often or stay away from their kids rely on.

Cell phone and network safety for parents doesn’t have to unduly interfere with kid’s privacy orcontrol their lives. On the flip side, children must also consider their parents’ concerns and realize that ensuring online safety doesn’t mean that parents don’t trust them or that they are doing something bad. In most cases, the children might not be involved in anything dangerous, but early action is sometimes required  to avoid falling down a slippery slope. As the famous saying goes:

There is nothing more precious to a parent than a child, and nothing more important to our future than the safety of our children.”

About the Author

Amy Scholl

Youth Technology Safety Specialist at KidGuard Dedicated to finding the best child safety measures for parents, grounded in research. Being knowledgeable about youth online usage is a key component of effective 21st-century parenting.

The holidays come and go so quickly. Perhaps it’s because of the rush that comes with the holidays – rushing to buy presents, prepare for family gatherings, and decorate your home all while many are still working full time. A lot of families stow away their decorations each year for reuse, including the electrical equipment they use for lighting up their homes with festive décor. But there may be safer products out there that reduce wire clutter, the risk of power shortages, and the risk of home fires.

The ESFi has offered up numerous online resources for shoppers, electrical safety, fire prevention, etc. for holiday decorators. We’d like our readers to follow their safety checklist.

Safety Checklist For Your Christmas Tree

Candle Safety Tips

Extension Cord Safety Checklist

Childproofing Checklist

Outside Decorating Safety Checklist

Indoor Decorating Safety Checklist

With all of these safety measures taken seriously, you shouldn’t have to worry electrical fires, candle fires, child accidents or any type of accidents taking place while you’re decorating your home or place of business.

We’d like to extend a warm Happy Holidays from Palermo Tuohy Bruno, P.L.L.C.