Safe Sound Family’s Weekly Roundup (January 4)

by Erin Raub | Last Updated May. 1st, 2015

facebook safebook infographic

Are your kids really ready for Facebook?

It’s the first roundup of 2013! Exciting stuff, especially considering that there are no holiday- or toy-themed posts to feature today. It feels like ages (not just a month) since I’ve been able to peruse the blogosphere without spotting something sparkly. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. But when they’re over, I’m definitely ready for them to be over.

So Happy New Year to you all, and let’s kick 2013 off with some great and informative blogging from the past week:

Is Your Child Ready for Social Networking?

We all know that the Internet can be the big, bad wolf of your child’s social experience – a dangerous land of nefarious predators, cyberbullying and poor decisions (sexting, anyone?). But knowing there’s a general problem is different from evaluating your specific situation or your children’s circumstances, right? This week, uKnowKids challenges parents with good questions: Is your child ready for Facebook? Is your child ready for Instagram? And how do you know if your child is engaging in behaviors that could be defined as cyberbullying? Remember, cyberbullying is a crime, not just “kids being kids.” It can have truly devastating effects on the recipient’s life and mental health – and the accompanying criminal record can dog cyberbullies for the rest of their lives.

Drowsy Drivers a Serious Danger

In too-horrifying-to-be-true (but it is) news, a new report states that an estimated 4.2% of drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days. Not yawned at the wheel. Not even wished they could fall asleep while behind the wheel. We’re talking full-out dozing while driving. The report shows that men, young drivers, and adults who get less than six hours sleep per night are more likely to fall asleep while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 2.5% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2009 and 2% of non-fatal car crashes involved drowsy drivers. So do right by your family: don’t drive drowsy. (And get some sleep!)

car seat safety infographic

Keep your kids safe: always put them in a car or booster seat

Colorado Library Says Facilities Too Dangerous for Unaccompanied Children Under 12

Lenore at Free Range Kids has some good commentary on a recent communication issued by the Boulder (Colorado) Public Library Commission. In a December 2012 letter, Boulder Libraries indicated that children 11 and under are not permitted to roam their facilities unattended. The alleged reason? Safety. According to the communication, “Children may encounter hazards such as stairs, elevators, doors, furniture, electrical equipment, or, other library patrons.” Now, most of us will agree that an 11-year-old is perfectly capable of keeping his fingers out of an electrical socket or navigating the stairs, so what is the real issue behind the new rule? Probably unruly, poorly behaved kids. But as Lenore says, “the letter was then signed by a librarian who must have forgotten what libraries exist for, which is to educate, enlighten and entertain the entire population of a town.” Brava! When my son is old enough, I hope he will be permitted to roam and explore the local library to be entertained, enlightened and educated to his heart’s content – without parental (or librarian) supervision.

Child Car Seat Safety

This week, The Mommies Network posted an awesome infographic (I can’t be the only one who loves these things!) about car seat safety. Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for children ages 1-12, and the sad-but-true statistic is that half of all children who die in a car accident are unrestrained (no car seat). Of fatal accidents involving some sort of child restraint, misuse is reported in 80-95% of all cases. This is to say, always buckle your child into a car seat and learn to use it correctly! Remember, you don’t need the fanciest or most expensive car seat out there; they all meet the same federal safety regulations, so as long as you install and use your seat correctly, your child will stay as safe as possible.

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