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Blog of David Heiman - Family Law Attorney - Divorce Lawyer

Keeping Children Safe

Nov 30 2020

During the craziness of this year, many of our children find themselves in the unusual circumstance of living in potentially dangerous situations. In addition to the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, insecurity in income, housing, and food, add stress that affects the lives of many family members. These stressors are currently enhanced, now that family members are forced to spend more time together, indoors,

During times of crisis, society’s most vulnerable members typically are most at risk. And, so it is for children during this time. Having very little power to alter their environment or life situations, they are dependent upon adults to keep them safe and healthy.

Families spending unusually large amounts of time together do well to establish boundaries for playing, working, and attending school. Designating specific areas for those activities, allows family members to operate in a more relaxed manner. And, being relaxed and comfortable is the opposite of feeling overcome by stress!

It is also important to give more thought than usual to securing dangerous items, so that kids are less likely to access them. Think about items such as alcohol, tobacco, prescription (and non-prescription) medicines, and firearms. While those items should always be secured from children, their security is of even greater importance currently, since children have more time athome to explore and to experiment.

And, of course, potential dangers to our children, via the internet, are enhanced now that children spend even more time online, for activities such as their schooling, and other group meetings. In fact, according to the FBI, “The internet, for all of its benefits, also gives criminals and predators an easy way to reach young people. The FBI most often sees crimes against children begin when an adult:

  • Forges a relationship with a young victim online and then later arranges to meet and abuse the child; or
  • Coerces a child into producing sexually explicit images or videos through manipulation, gifts, or threats—a crime called sextortion.”[1]

The FBI suggests that “The most important advice for parents is to have open and ongoing conversations about safe and appropriate online behavior. Other advice to consider:

  • Educate yourself about the websites, software, games, and apps that your child uses.
  • Check their social media and gaming profiles and posts. Have conversations about what is appropriate to say or share.
  • Explain to your kids that once images or comments are posted online they can be shared with anyone and never truly disappear.
  • Make sure your kids use privacy settings to restrict access to their online profiles.
  • Tell your children to be extremely wary when communicating with anyone online who they do not know in real life.
  • Encourage kids to choose appropriate screen names and to create strong passwords.
  • Make it a rule with your kids that they can't arrange to meet up with someone they met online without your knowledge and supervision.
  • Stress to your children that making any kind of a threat online—even if they think it's a joke—is a crime.
  • Report any inappropriate contact between an adult and your child to law enforcement immediately. Notify the site they were using, too.” [2]

Sadly, reports of domestic violence are significantly increased this year. And, living in an environment where that is occurring is detrimental to the health of children. With that in mind, we have written here about  the resources available to victims of domestic violence. Using them helps to keep kids safe.

These times are trying for many of us. It is even more important now to keep our kids safe. We  hope that this information helps. Of course, we would welcome your thoughts about these ideas.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/protecting-your-kids

[2] Id.

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About Us

The Heiman Law Firm provides professional family law services in cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, CPS, adoption and more. We have been proudly serving clients, primarily in Denton County, for over 25 years.

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday Appointments Available

Contact Info

Lewisville Office
405 State Highway 121 Byp Ste A250
Lewisville, TX 75067

  (469) 948-4764

 

Frisco Office
2770 Main Street Ste 179
Frisco, TX 75033

  (214) 269-9601

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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