Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 10

Protect Your
Children
From Online
Predators
Six expert-approved
ways to keep your kids
safe in the digital age
By Meghan Klaassen

10

1

Knowledge is power.
Arm your children.

"Talk to your kids early on about
safety using the internet and electronic
devices," Groot says.
Establishing open and trusted communication with your children is vital to
being able to instruct them. You want
them to be comfortable approaching you
when they have questions or concerns.
Discuss the tactics of online predators
with your kids. Just as you would tell
them not to talk to strangers in public,
tell them the same rule applies in the
virtual realm. Remind them that things
are not always as they appear online.
"You can be anybody you want to be
online," Groot says. "The '15-year old'
talking to your 13-year-old could be
someone who is 55 years old living in
another state."
Spend time with your kids online,
and discuss where they can go and
what they can do on the internet.

┬ęGETTY IMAGES

The internet and advances in technology open a world of
exploration for children. However, these advancements
also can usher in grave risks. Thanks to the boom in
social media use and children's ease of access to connected devices, people who prey on children can connect with youth
in the privacy of your own home. Parents, guardians and other adults
caring for young people must take their online lives seriously; the old
adage "where children play, predators prey" is as true online as it
ever was in the physical world.
"Twelve to 14 is the average age of girls and boys lured into sex
trafficking," says Karen Groot, a forensic nurse who specializes in
collecting evidence from crime victims at Salina Regional Health
Center. "And with technology, much of the luring is now happening
online through social media and gaming. Young children and teens
are vulnerable, and unfortunately human traffickers see them as
easy targets. The anonymity of the internet makes it possible for
predators to pretend to be someone they are not in order to get
close to unsuspecting kids."
Being aware and educated is the first step to protecting children
when using electronic devices and the internet. The following are tips
on how to take action to protect children in the digital age.

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Health Beat - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Health Beat - Spring 2020

Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 1
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 2
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 3
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 4
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 5
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Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 7
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 8
Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 9
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Health Beat - Spring 2020 - 16
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