Stranger danger: How and when to teach your kids about it

As a mom, one of your strongest instincts is to protect your kids against everything and anything harmful. When your kiddo becomes old enough to stray (a bit) from your safe nest, it can be a stressful and nerve-wracking season in your life if you’re not sure how to teach them about stranger danger and protecting themselves.   But the scary thing is that stranger danger isn’t something we really need to worry about all that much since 90% of sexual abuse happens by a person the child knows. Only 1% of kids are abducted by a total stranger. So what is a mom to do?   The first thing you need to do is to teach your kid who strangers are. There are strangers, people who they (nor anyone in their family) don’t know. And then there are “safe strangers”, who your child might not know but can generally trust, like a firefighter or nurse. After you’ve explained this to your kid, use the following tips to help your kids stay safe when they are outside of your presen…
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Babysitter rules every parent should follow

It can be nerve-wracking to hire a new babysitter, especially if you’ve got young kids and you don’t have a lot of experience with the whole idea. But that’s where babysitter rules come in, to help you set ground rules and expectations right from the start. Although you might have your own expectations for your sitter, here are some basics to consider:   Basic babysitter rules 1. She has to have solid first-aid qualifications One of the most important babysitter rules is that they always have to be CPR-certified. This ensures that she has the knowledge she needs to keep your kid safe.   2. No visitors allowed You don’t want strangers inside your home, so why would you allow your sitter to have her friends over while she’s supposed to be looking after your kids? Clearly defining this rule is always the safest and smartest option, right off the bat.   3. Screen time should be limited Screen time rules vary greatly from one family to the next, so be …
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What every parent needs to know about dry drowning right now

Dry drowning isn’t something that only families with pools need to be worried about. Water is a serious safety hazard for kids that can lead to disastrous and fatal outcomes at the drop of a hat. Here are some things that all parents need to know and keep in mind.   Facts about dry drowning The risks don’t stop when you leave the pool Drowning might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s an all-too-real phenomenon. Despite the fact that it’s a widely discussed topic, drowning is still a rare occurrence, but it can happen to anyone and knowing the signs can mean the difference between life and death.   Dry drowning happens when somebody becomes ill or dies to their symptoms several hours after being submerged underwater and inhaling through their mouth or nose. This isn’t like the typical scenario most of us know. When someone has a submerged incident, there’s a spasm of the vocal cords that causes them to shut, and they struggle to breathe against those closed c…
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Social media and your kids: What to teach them

How can you safely navigate the world that includes social media and your kids? How can you ensure they’re using tech smartly and safely? Here are some rules and guidelines that can help ensure your kids stay as safe as possible in the online world.   Rules for social media and your kids Live in real time You want your kids to live full lives and seize the day. We should all live our lives in real time and not behind screens. It’s important to teach them not to ignore real life.   Everyone is basically showing off, remember that Social media is the only place where people get to show only the “good” of their daily lives. You need to explain to your kids that nobody’s life is perfect. Nothing, not even money, fame, or thousands of social media followers, will make your life run perfectly.   Always ask yourself these questions before you post anything Before posting, teach your kids to ask themselves whether the post is true, kind, damaging, and whe…
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Subtle signs of bullying all parents need to know about

Bullying isn’t something that’s always easy to spot. In fact, more often than not, it’s the subtle signs of bullying that help uncover bigger problems. According to the experts, there are a few red flag behaviours that all parents should be on the lookout for. Here’s what the look like   Subtle signs of bullying 1. Not wanting to go to school Obviously, school is a hot spot for bullying, so when your kid is reluctant to head out in the morning, there might be something wrong. Young kids might often come up with recurring excuses to stay at home. Aches and pains are their go-to excuses. These subtle signs of bullying look a little different from adolescents and teens though. It’s vital to check up on their attendance in class since your kid might start skipping school altogether.   2. Frequent stomach aches and headaches Headaches and stomach aches are common physical manifestations of stress. Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand with being bullied, so it’s so…
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Mall piercings are not okay, and here’s why

A lot of parents turn to the quick and easy mall piercings option when it comes to their daughter’s piercings. Most of us had our ears pierces in the mall when we were kids, but apparently, it’s really not safe. Let’s take a look at why you need to get it done by a professional instead of a nasty old gun.   The problem with mall piercings Most mall piercings are done with a piercing gun, which works much the same as an office stapler. A stud is placed in the gun, and the trigger is pulled to push the earring through the ear lobe using blunt force. With a piercing gun, the ear isn’t really pierced at all, but rather punctured. Which hurts. A lot.   Aside from the obvious issue with pain, a piercing gun is much less sterile than needles used in professional piercing parlours.   Couple that with the fact that most mall piercings are done by barely-trained staff and you face a bunch of hygiene risks, misplaced piercings, and a major possibility of in…
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Dangerous apps all parents need to know about right now

Technological advancements are amazing, and they’ve enriched our lives so much. They’ve helped us connect with our family and friends, and they’ve even helped us manage our time better. But there are some serious downfalls to tech too. The digital world is also home to some dangerous apps, and if you’re a parent with young kids, you need to learn about some of them. Here’s a look at the darker side of apps that might be safety risks to your kids.   The most dangerous apps for kids Yik Yak Yik Yak is a social platform where users post short blurbs of text up to 200 characters. Your “Yaks” are visible to everyone in your immediate vicinity, which is determined by your phone’s GPS. Yik Yak features an abundance of sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks. Post are anonymous, but kids tend to reveal personal information, which puts them at risk.   SnapChat With SnapChat, users send photos that vanish after 10 seconds. As soon as a recipi…
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How to arm your kid against bullies

Bullying is a heated topic, and probably always will be. It is estimated that bullying occurs in over 25% of public schools on a daily and weekly basis. One in every five high school kids are bullied, so just imagine what’s really going on if these are the estimates! There has never been a better time to arm your kid against bullies.   Why you need to arm your kid against bullies Kids need to be able to deal with bullying behaviour when you’re not around. You need to teach them the importance of standing up for themselves. And it all starts with teaching them about anti-bullying tactics at home.   How to arm your kid against bullies Have a discussion with them Get some family members to share their experiences and help you talk to your kids about bullying. If your kid admits to being bullied at school, praise them for being brave enough to talk about the ordeal. It’s also your job to give them your unconditional support now. Find out what your kid’s s…
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Kids and social media: NO, they do NOT need it!

According to child development experts, Facebook’s new messaging app for kids could end in disaster. The app was developed for kids aged 13 and younger, but kids and social media is one thing that will just never make sense. Kids under 13 years of age aren’t ready to have their own social media accounts. Let alone navigate the complexities of the online world where privacy is always at risk. Kids and social media just don’t mix.   In December 2017, Facebook launched its free Messenger Kids app. They had the app pose as a way for kids to “interact” with their friends and family who had been approved by their parents. Although the app does not create Facebook profiles for kids, it does work as an extension of the parent’s account. Parents now have the option to control what their kids can do on social media. But seriously, what is this world coming to?   Why kids and social media should be taboo According to a group of 100 experts, Facebook’s preposterous new…
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Tech tools to help keep kids safe online

The idea of technological advancements is a bittersweet pill. On the one side, it’s amazing. But on the other hand, it also poses a real threat to our kids. But that’s not what this article is about. We’ve arrived at a time and place in civilisation where everyone lives and breathes online interactions. So that’s why, in this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the coolest tech tools to help keep kids safe online. What are some of the latest and greatest tech tools to help keep kids safe? Bark Bark is a great app which teaches kids to stay safe online. It monitors your kid’s social media accounts and activity, and sends you real-time alerts when something seems fishy. As far as notifications go, you’ll be alerted for: Cyberbullying Sexting Depressive or suicidal tendencies Drug-related issues MamaBear MamaBear is an innovative app that allows you to protect your kids and parent them in a complex world. The app shares family news and connects al…
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