Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dog Safety Reminder for Children

Here are some GREAT tips on Dog safety. As the weather gets nicer and we are outside more, keep these tips in mind--

  • Always ask permission to pet a dog that is not your own
  • If you have permission, walk slowly and let the dog sniff the back of your hand before you try to pet it.
  • Do not stare into the eyes of a dog. They think you might hurt them when you do this
  • Pet Dogs under the chin or the side of the face until they are comfortable with the attention
  • Never tease a dog when playing with them
  • Never try to play with a dog if they are sleeping, eating or caring for their young
  • Never approach or tease a dog that is tied outside or in a fenced area
  • Never approach a stray dog
  • Tell an adult if you see a stray dog wandering around
  • Do not pet an assistance dog(assistance dogs sometimes wear special vest) Assistance dogs work hard to keep their owner safe and should not be distracted

Monday, February 16, 2015

Keeping Kids Safer on the Internet Part 3

We hope you have found the information on Keeping Kids Safer on the internet to be useful in your homes. Here are a few more tips as we come to the end of the series.

Begin a dialogue with your kids about Internet use
Because we use the Internet in different ways, kids and adults may learn from each other. By talking about Internet use with your kids, you are opening the door to discussing the important issues of personal safety and helping them engage in responsible behavior. Check out to find resources for both kids and adults.

Consider Rating, Blocking, Monitoring, and Filtering Applications for your Computer
Software and services are available to help parents and guardians set limits on kids internet use. Most computer-operation systems have optional filters allowing parents and guardians to block websites they consider inappropriate. Some services rate websites for content. Some programs prevent users from entering information such as names and addresses, and others keep kids away from chat rooms or restrict their ability to send or read email. Monitoring programs allow you to see where your kids go online. But remember these programs and services don't develop kids own sense of safety, and they are not substitute for parental/guardian communications, supervision and involvement.

Make Internet Use a Family Activity While Encouraging Critical Thinking
By Setting aside time to go online with your kids you not only become more aware of what they do online, you reinforce positive Internet skills. Helping your kids with a research project is a great opportunity reliable information, are simply someone's opinion and are to be avoided entirely. And when looking at e-mails together ask, "Are these people who they seem to be?" These are prime opportunities to help kids develop their critical-thinking skills

Set Reasonable Rules
Work with your kids to develop reasonable rules. Consider setting rules about the time of day, length of time, people they may communicate with, and appropriate areas for them to visit while online. Also explain to your kids why these rules are important.

Encourage your Kids to Go to you when they Encounter Problems Online
It's important to reassure kids if they encounter problems online or view something disturbing, it's not their fault. Discussing these issues openly may reduce their fear of going to you. Be a resource. Let them know if they share the experience with you, you will help them, not punish them. At the same time help them understand what happened and avoid the situation in the future.

It's all about communication!

**Thank you to Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Mayo clinic for all this information

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Keeping Kids Safer on the Internet Part 2

Part 2 of our Internet safety-- We hope these tips will help make your kids safer and allow you to be aware of what problems may arise. Today we will focus on Social Networking and Texting.

Social Networking:
Websites allow kids to connect with their friends and other users with similar interest. Kids socialize and express themselves by exchanging instant message, emails, or comments and posting photographs, creative writing, artwork, videos, and music to their blogs and personal profiles.
Some 55% of online teens have profiles on a social-networking website such as Facebook or MySpace. A survey of 10-17 year olds revealed 34% had posted their real names, telephone numbers, home addresses, or the name of their schools online where anyone could see: 45% had posted their dates of birth or ages; and 18% had posted picture of themselves.

**Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
-Urge kids to use privacy setting to restrict access to profiles so only those on their contact list are able to view them.
-Remind kids to only add people they know in person to their contact lists.
-Encourage them to choose appropriate screen names or nicknames--Such as those that refer to sports and interests, but are not sexual, offensive or violent.
-Visit social network websites with your kids and exchange ideas about what you think is safe and unsafe
-Ask your kids about the people they are communicating with online.
-Insist you kids never give out personal information and never meet any one in person that they have met online without checking with you first.
-Encourage your kids to think before typing, "Is this a hurtful or rude?" also urge your kids not to respond to any rude or harassing message or ones that make them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.

Many parents and guardians look at cellular telephones as a necessity for their kids. It is reassuring to know they may reach you or call for help. Texting can be used for sending messages, images or videos. Kids are increasingly using cellular telephones to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves and send them to their friends. In some instances children have been prosecuted for production or child pornography for taking these pictures. Kids also have been taking embarrassing or revealing photographs or others and post them to internet, leaving victims few options to defend or protect themselves from this form of Bullying.

**Tips to minimize Potential Risk
-Create Rules about the appropriate use of cellular telephones/wireless devices and set limits, including who your kids may communicate with and when they may use their cellular telephones.
-Review cellphone records for any unknown numbers and late night telephone calls
-Teach kids to never post their cellular telephone number anywhere online.
-Think about removing the internet features from your kid's cellular telephone/wireless device through your service provider and put controls or limits on texting
-Talk to your kids about the possible implications of sending sexually explicit or provocative images of themselves or others.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Keeping Kids Safer on the Internet Part 1

        Over the next few weeks will be giving you some great information about Internet Safety for your kids. Allowing kids to go online without supervision or ground rules is like allowing them to explore a major metropolitan area by themselves. The internet, like a city, offers an enormous array of entertainment and educational resources but also present some potential risk. Kids need help navigating this world. By exploring the Internet with your kids, you greatly expand its capacity as an educational tool. By providing guidance and discussions along the way you increase kids' online skills and confidence along with their ability to avoid potential risk.

Where do kids connect?
--Kids go online almost anywhere. They surf the Internet and send messages from a home computer or one of friend's home, library or school.
--Kids connect at coffee shops and other "hotspots" using laptops and wireless connections
--Internet-enabled, video-game systems allow them to compete against and chat with players around the world.
--Wireless devices enable kids to surf the web and exchange messages photographs, and short videos from just about anywhere

Browsing the Internet
--Browsing the Internet is like having the world's largest library and entertainment system at your fingertips. Kids are able to read stories, tour museums, visit other countries, play games, look at photographs, shop and do research to help with homework
--Potential RISK--
Kids may come across websites containing adult images or demeaning, racist, sexist, violent or false information.

Tips to Minimize Potential Risk
--Chose search engines carefully. Some are specifically designed for kids and others off kid-safe options.
--Tell kids when they come across any material making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused to immediately tell you or another trusted adult.
--Help kids find information online. By searching the Internet together you can help them find good resources and show them how to do it the correct way.

Using Email
Kids and adults can communicate and a rapidly and cost effectively with people all over the world.
**Potential Risk
-- Kids are able to set up private accounts without asking parents permission
-- Anyone using email is vulnerable to receiving "spam" which can encourage the recipients to buys something, visit a website or spam may be sexually suggestive or offensive.
**Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
--Talk with your kids about their email accounts. Remind them to never share passwords with anyone but you. Not even their closest friends.
--Teach your children to not open up spam mail and if they do receive something have them to show it to you.

** info from May Clinic--And National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thank you!

We wanted to thank the Young Women group that donated these fun, comfy, soft and adorable fleece pillows to our clinic. We have to transport very sick patients to Primary's Children's hospital and it can be a scary experience. This way they can cuddle with something and feel more calm as they go to the hospital. We also can use these for our patients that come if for stitches.  What a wonderful thing for our patients! Thank you Riverside Oak's Young Women's group.