Leading Child Abuse Center Releases Back to School Tips to Protect Children From Internet Predators

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 General News
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DENVER, Sept. 11 Now that school is back in session,on-line use will likely increase by children to research reports, communicatewith teachers and friends or just play interactive games.

"While the Internet is a wonderful resource, an on-line predator will useits anonymity to develop trust with a child in order to persuade them intosharing personal details quickly," said Dr. Don Bross, Co-director of TheKempe Center's State and Regional Crimes Against Children (START) Program."Children are absolutely no match for these skilled deceivers."

The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse andNeglect has developed these tips to help parents discuss this important topicwith their child before they fall victim to an Internet predator:

Talk about Internet predators

Predators and possible abductions need to be discussed with your child. Noparent wants to scare a child and tell them that there are people that want todo them harm, but these people do exist and children need to know what to doif they come across them on the Internet.

Warn not to give out personal information

The smallest amount of information -- the name of your child's school, theschool's mascot, their favorite sport -- can help a predator find a child.Make it clear to your child that they should never give out any personalinformation over the Internet.

Parents should also become more computer literate and Web savvy. Know theins and outs of the websites that your children are surfing.

Set rules for Internet use

Before allowing your child to use the Internet, sit down and set specificrules for the Internet. A good starting point is to establish time managementguidelines and clearly define what can and cannot be said while online. Also,consider signing a contract that clearly spells out these rules. This willreinforce how serious you are about protecting them from predators.

Let them know that they can always come to you

Once a predator has established a relationship with your child, they willconvince them that they cannot go to you for help, because they have donesomething wrong. Letting your child know that they can come to you "no matterwhat" is necessary to keep them safe.

Insist that your child never meet anyone face-to-face that they have metonline

Remind them of this as often as you can. The cute boy or girl that theymet online that claims to be their age may, or may not be who they say theyare.

Leading the fight against child abuse for nearly 35 years, The KempeCenter for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect is a livinglegacy to a brilliant researcher, teacher, and prominent pediatrician whobecame one of America's foremost pioneers in child abuse and neglect, Dr. C.Henry Kempe.

The Kempe Center provides clinical treatment, training, research,education, and program development to prevent and treat child abuse andneglect. Located in Denver, Colorado, Kempe has built its reputation as anational and international leader by creating model programs for nationalreplication; providing quality clinical treatment to abused children and theirfamilies; developing curricula and providing training and consultation toprofessionals; and, conducting research studies that assist in programdevelopment and public policy making.For more information visit: http://www.kempe.org Contact: Sandi Garcia Phone: 303-864-5315 Email: garcia.sandi@kempe.org

SOURCE The Kempe Center

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