Nov. 10, 2011
-- While the Internet can be a fantastic resource for children, it is also a place where children can be exposed to inappropriate material. To combat this problem, there are several resources available to parents that offer kid-safe content that has been filtered by both human editors and computer algorithms, to ensure optimum safety. Child Safety Advocate, Michael Pouls, encourages parents to closely monitor their child’s on line activity, and recommends the use of these kid-friendly search engines as the first step. Sites such as Yahooligans and KidsClick! are prime examples. Yahooligans is the oldest major directory for children. It launched in March 1996, and was designed for use by children ages 7 to 12. Sites are hand-picked to be appropriate for children, plus adult-oriented banner advertising is removed. Meanwhile, KidsClick! Is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. It was created to address concerns about the role public libraries play in guiding young internet users to age and content appropriate material. “These valuable tools help parents by limiting or eliminating exposure to questionable websites. But don’t forget that nothing replaces parental supervision,”
warns Michael Pouls, “Do not allow unsupervised use of electronic devices that access the web, regardless of the precautions you may have taken.” Michael Pouls reminds parents to keep all internet-connected devices in a family area where you can easily supervise and monitor your child’s activities, plus actively communicate about safe and proper web use. For example, remind children that they must never provide personal information while on line, and guide them in creating usernames that do not give away their gender or age. For more information about child safety, please log onto www.michaelpouls.info .