How to Keep Kids Safe When Using Their Electronic Devices

Today I’m sharing a guest post, written by Tina from MotherGeek, which contains tips on how to keep kids safe when using their electronic devices. In today’s world, it is almost impossible to imagine life without gadgets. Our children are growing up in a world where smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices are a part of their daily lives. 

In fact, this technology is used in schools, colleges and workplaces, which means kids are not only bound to come into contact with it, but they’re also expected to understand how to use it. While all these devices have many benefits, they can also pose risks to our children’s safety. 

How to Keep Kids Safe When Using Their Electronic Devices

Ways to Keep Kids Safe When Using Their Electronic Devices

If you are worried about how to keep kids safe when using their electronic devices, here are some tips to help.

Set age-appropriate rules

The first thing to do when allowing your child to use a device is to discuss age-appropriate rules with them. These rules should be discussed as a family and you should listen to your children’s needs and concerns surrounding the rules that you’re trying to set. For example, the rules you set should be age-appropriate. 

It’s not fair to give a teenager the same type of restrictions as you’d give a younger child, so consider things such as when the devices can be used and for how long. 

Talk to your children about online safety

Next, it is vital that you educate your children about the dangers of the internet. It’s imperative that your children learn what to look out for whilst browsing the internet so that they can identify potential risks. Likewise, parents need to also be teaching children how to stay safe whilst using their electronic devices. 

Talk to your children about the dangers of using the internet, such as scammers and grooming, and protect them from falling victim to these by educating them about personal information, strange links, and talking to strangers online. This is vital when considering ways to keep kids safe when using their electronic devices. 

Use Parental Controls

Whether you’re the parent of a young child or a tween, parental controls can help to keep your children safe whilst using their electronic devices. Most devices have parental control options that allow you to limit access to certain apps, and websites, and even block keywords. 

Before allowing your child to use their device, it’s wise to first set up parental controls to ensure that your child can only access age-appropriate content online.  

Monitor Your Child’s Device Usage

When parenting teenagers, some parents use device monitoring apps to keep an eye on their teenagers, others rely on their children to share account passwords and device access with them. Whatever your method of monitoring, it’s vital that you regularly check your child’s device usage to ensure they are not engaging in any risky behaviour. 

Look out for signs of cyberbullying, such as changes in behaviour, mood, or sleep patterns, when considering how you will keep kids safe when using their electronic devices. You can also monitor the amount of time they spend on their devices, as excessive screen time can have negative effects on their mental and physical health. 

Teach Responsible Device Use

If you do not teach your children how to be responsible when using their electronic devices, how will they know what’s acceptable? Encourage them to treat their devices with care, to charge them responsibly, and to use them in appropriate locations. 

This is something that can be discussed when talking about the device rules, for example, you probably do not want your child to have access to their electronic devices in bed before sleep. 

How to Keep Kids Safe When Using Their Electronic Devices

Create a Safe and Open Environment for Communication

When talking through your family’s rules regarding electronic devices, it’s important that you create a safe environment where your child feels comfortable sharing their experiences with you regarding their electronic devices. 

Let them know they can talk to you about anything they come across that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared. Tell them there will be no judgement, and you want to keep kids safe when using their electronic devices, not punish them if things go wrong. 

Lead by Example

Finally, if you really want to keep your child as safe as possible when they’re on their electronic devices, you should lead by example. Your child is far more likely to follow the rules you set if you lead by example. 

Make sure you are also following the same rules you set for your child, such as not using your phone at the dinner table or not staying up too late on your laptop.

Final Thoughts on how to Keep Your Kids Safe When Using Electronic Devices

Electronic devices can provide a lot of benefits for children, but it’s important to ensure their safety when using them. 

By setting age-appropriate rules, educating them about online safety, using parental controls, monitoring their device usage, teaching responsible device use, creating a safe and open environment for communication, and leading by example, you can help keep kids safe when using their electronic devices.
This guest post was written by Tina who blogs at MotherGeek. She’s been sharing her Family’s ramblings for over 12 years now, so there’s plenty to catch up on!

Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged Keeping kids safe when using electronic devices, mobile phone safety for kids.